Weaver's Social Enterprise Directory

About

Weaver’s Social Enterprise Directory, Inc. is a globally used resource that aims to advance knowledge related to social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. We are currently building our team and revamping this website to align with Dr. Weaver’s forthcoming textbook entitled “Social Entrepreneurship: A Practical Introduction.”

General Information 

Weaver’s Social Enterprise Directory is a celebration of organizations throughout the United States that are working towards creating positive social changes in our nation. Named after the creator, Dr. Rasheda L. Weaver, a global expert in social and commercial entrepreneurship, the directory contains information about how social enterprises strive to address social problems, the goods and services they sell, and their legal structure. There are over 1,000 social enterprises that are currently featured, but it will be continuously updated on an annual basis.

 

The definition and characteristics of social enterprises in Weaver’s Social Enterprise Directory stems from the results of Dr. Weaver’s empirical study of the social, economic, and legal activities of 115 social enterprises across the United States. This study is the first large scale study of social enterprise activities and characteristics in the nation. Its findings ultimately led to the development of and investment in this national directory.

 

Definition

A social enterprise is an organization that operates under any legal form and that uses commercial business activities to combat one or more social problems (Weaver, 2017). They are social interventions in that they aim to create positive social changes in society (Weaver, 2019).

 

Typical Characteristics of Social Enterprises in the United States

  • They have a dual bottom-line consisting of creating social value and economic value.

  • They are mostly locally embedded organizations, but they are also large-renown companies (because they grow over time).

  • They seek to address a diversity of social problems. There is no one social issue that social enterprises combat. Social enterprises are often “locally grown” organizations that seek to address issues the social entrepreneurs have faced themselves or have witnessed.

  • They have a flexible organizational structure in that they can be for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, or a combination of both. Social enterprises may also be established under new “hybrid laws” such as the Benefit Corporation or the Limited Liability Company (L3C).        

   
          

References

Weaver, R.L. (2019). Social enterprise and the capability approach: Exploring how social enterprises are humanizing business. Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10495142.2019.1589630

 

Weaver, R. L. (2017). Social enterprise and the capability approach: Examining the quest to humanize business. (Doctoral dissertation, Rutgers University-Camden Graduate School).