A Google search for “social enterprise” calls up over 400 million links. Indeed, there are hundreds of thousands of new ideas for mission-driven ventures emerging around the world. And there are some notable social enterprise organizations that have started to solve social and environmental problems at scale. What can we learn from the experiences of these organizations? Their hard-won lessons can benefit other social enterprises, funders, and the surrounding ecosystem.
Social enterprises often work on problems that are deeply entrenched, depend on cross-sector collaboration, and require multiple pathways to scale their impact and create systems-level change. The road to scaled impact is a nonlinear, complicated one.
For many social enterprises, partnering with government in some way is an essential strategy for achieving impact, especially when seeking systems-level change. This study focuses on why government partnerships matter for scaled impact.