Social enterprises are changing the world for good. Whether it’s a neighborhood food co-op or a credit union, social enterprises can use technology to further their impact, and Varsity can help every step of the way. Our background in the nonprofit and education industries puts us in a unique position to support this growing industry. Varsity strives to free organizations from the constraints, costs, and inconsistencies of an in-house IT department. We want your social enterprise to stay focused on your mission, rather than IT problems. Continue reading to understand more about social enterprises and how technology can support their unique needs.
Understanding Social Enterprises
Social enterprises are different than social entrepreneurs or social charities, as they balance monetary gains with social goals. Investopedia notes that while “earning profits is not the primary motivation behind a social enterprise, revenue still plays an essential role in the venture’s sustainability.” However, instead of giving payouts to shareholders, social enterprises will reinvest their profits into their social mission.
There are many thriving social enterprises that exist today. They are usually a blend of private and volunteer organizations. For example, TOMS, a shoes retailer, “invests 1/3 of their profits for good, which include cash grants and partnerships with community organizations to drive sustainable change.” Radicle is another social enterprise that helps companies implement environmental strategies to reduce emissions, while also minimizing costs and optimizing value.
How Technology Can Support Social Enterprises
Social enterprises can utilize technology to grow, create new solutions, and increase their mission impact. Amit Midha, global strategic business leader at Dell, writes that technology also has the power to “facilitate new connections, accelerate working relationships, and help organizations discover best practices,” all while helping them “understand and quantify the problem to be addressed.” How exactly can technology be used to drive growth and greater impact? Let’s discuss a few ways.
Technology is a useful tool to communicate effectively. Social enterprises can use electronic communication to communicate successes, email recurring newsletters with updates, and create invites for important events. They can also use technology to extend their communication reach with a well-built website, a social media presence, and a marketing strategy. Active social media accounts, combined with a strong website and a marketing strategy can draw more like-minded supporters to your organization and increase your impact.
Social enterprises can also run more efficiently with the use of the cloud and automation. Cloud-based computing can cut costs, increase security, increase flexibility and mobility, and give your social enterprise a competitive edge. Additionally, using technology for automation processes will save both time and money, allowing your team to focus on more important things such as fundraising, serving, and building community. Automation processes can include recording volunteer hours, automating outreach, or organizing contact lists.
Technology can also be used to protect valuable internal and external information. As cyberattacks increase and become more sophisticated, having a strong cybersecurity strategy in place is one of the most important things any organization can do. With strategies like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), email security, anti-spam filtering, device encryption, and vulnerability scans, your organization can stay ahead of hackers.
How Varsity Can Help
Technology can be used for good, especially for social enterprises. At Varsity, we believe that technology should help drive your organization’s success, not hinder it. We’ll serve as your trusted IT partner to adapt, evolve, and continuously improve so we can better serve you and the communities you serve. Explore our services or contact us today to see how we can customize a technology solution to meet your needs and budget.