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November 12, 2010 / compassioninpolitics

Twelve Revenue Models of Social Entrepreneurship

Here is a quick list of 12 possible revenue models for social entrepreneurship or social business ventures (as some people refer to them and I guess the words business models or fund raisings model for social entrepreneurs would apply). If you are researching this topic, you may also be interested in social entrepreneurship operational models or check out some of the examples from the Social Entrepreneurship Alliance or B-Corporation (which is a new legal form of incorporation specifically for social business ventures and covers the B-Corporation space on their blog):

1) Sales (product, service, experience)
2) Sales (product, service, experience) and incentive/subsidy (government, etc.)
3) Sales (product, service, experience) to third party
4) Sales (product, service, experience) on two tracks (one subsidized customer and one customer who subsidizes)
5) Sponsorship (related to #11: CSR)
6) Events (virtual/real/blended)
7) Training/Advocacy (virtual/real/blended)
8] Publication (digital or print)
9) Membership
10) Buy One-Give One (BOGO Model practiced by TOMS shoes)
11) Corporate Social Responsibility Donation (Percentage of budget related to CSR activity–this model goes both ways. However 10% seems a minimum to make this viable and not greenwashing, whitewashing, or hype)
12) Side project (version of Sponsorship or CSR)

Notice: 6 and 7 are generally associated with association models. Also cooperative buying (or coops) and sharing/renting has been left off I believe (one example might be sharing mobile phones in the developing world or car sharing via zip car).

For more information, check out my other articles on social entrepreneurship and innovation. You may also want to check out the work at Ashoka, the Acumen Fund, the Unreasonable Institute, or the Skoll Founrdation.

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