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Raising the profile of social enterprises: the use of social return on investment (SROI) and investment ready tools (IRT) to bridge the financial credibility gap

Raising the profile of social enterprises: the use of social return on investment (SROI) and... Purpose – To evaluate the potential of social return on investment (SROI) and investment ready tools (IRT) in enabling social enterprises to address the credibility gap associated with their ability to build capacity and to adopt a more commercial/entrepreneurial approach to their activities. Design/methodology/approach – The differences that exist between social and financial returns in social enterprises are discussed. Reports the results of interviews conducted with key informants from the social investment industry in Scotland and England to explore their personal understanding or experience of SROI, the tools they use at present to assess social enterprise sustainability and capacity for growth and potential for investment, their likes and dislikes of SROI, and how they see SROI moving forward in a Scottish and/or UK context. Findings – The results indicated that, should social enterprises find a way to overcome the resource implications of implementing SROI, this would enable them to become the preferred investment vehicle for new sources of social finance. Originality/value – Presents the findings from an MBA dissertation entitled “Is Measuring Social Return on Investment (SROI) a tool that can be used to raise the profile of social enterprises and help attract investment?” (Flockhart 2004) and includes preliminary findings from a pilot programme conducted by CEiS Ltd on the introduction of an Investment Ready Tool (IRT) for social enterprise. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Enterprise Journal Emerald Publishing

Raising the profile of social enterprises: the use of social return on investment (SROI) and investment ready tools (IRT) to bridge the financial credibility gap

Social Enterprise Journal , Volume 1 (1): 14 – Mar 1, 2005

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-8614
DOI
10.1108/17508610580000705
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – To evaluate the potential of social return on investment (SROI) and investment ready tools (IRT) in enabling social enterprises to address the credibility gap associated with their ability to build capacity and to adopt a more commercial/entrepreneurial approach to their activities. Design/methodology/approach – The differences that exist between social and financial returns in social enterprises are discussed. Reports the results of interviews conducted with key informants from the social investment industry in Scotland and England to explore their personal understanding or experience of SROI, the tools they use at present to assess social enterprise sustainability and capacity for growth and potential for investment, their likes and dislikes of SROI, and how they see SROI moving forward in a Scottish and/or UK context. Findings – The results indicated that, should social enterprises find a way to overcome the resource implications of implementing SROI, this would enable them to become the preferred investment vehicle for new sources of social finance. Originality/value – Presents the findings from an MBA dissertation entitled “Is Measuring Social Return on Investment (SROI) a tool that can be used to raise the profile of social enterprises and help attract investment?” (Flockhart 2004) and includes preliminary findings from a pilot programme conducted by CEiS Ltd on the introduction of an Investment Ready Tool (IRT) for social enterprise.

Journal

Social Enterprise JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 2005

Keywords: Social enterprises; Return on investment; Entrepreneurialism; Social responsibility; Public administration; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Small enterprises; Scotland; England

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