Mission, Inc.

The Practitioner's Guide to Social Enterprise

Kevin Lynch (Author) | Julius Walls, Jr. (Author)

Publication date: 01/01/2009

Mission, Inc.

• The popularity of social enterprises has exploded in recent years – this is the authoritative guide to starting and running one
• Offers practical, from-the-trenches advice from two leading social entrepreneurs on confronting the challenges and seizing the opportunities social enterprises present
• The newest book in the Social Venture Network series – over 50,000 books in the series sold to date

The popularity of social enterprises has exploded in recent years – this is the authoritative guide to starting and running one

Offers practical, from-the-trenches advice from two leading social entrepreneurs on confronting the challenges and seizing the opportunities social enterprises present

The newest book in the Social Venture Network series – over 50,000 books in the series sold to date

Business has the power to change the world, but some businesses embrace that opportunity more aggressively than others do. Social enterprises put their change mission first – what they sell or what service they provide is a means to accomplishing a larger goal, rather than an end in itself.

Their front-and-center commitment to doing good makes social enterprises immensely attractive. But if you want to run one successfully, you have to manage a tricky balancing act. How can you be as efficient as any of your for-profit or nonprofit competitors while at the same time staying true to your social purpose?

In this groundbreaking guide, social entrepreneurs Kevin Lynch and Julius Walls draw on their own extensive experiences and those of twenty other social enterprise leaders to focus on the fundamental blocking and tackling tactics that make the difference between success and failure. Exploring the many paradoxes that can hamstring social enterprises, the authors explain how starting and running a social enterprise requires leaders to adopt an entirely different mindset and often a wholly different perspective on the day-to-day choices they’re forced to make. Likewise, Walls and Lynch help readers grapple with a different set of expectations from employees, investors, customers, and the community. For social enterprise practitioners, these expectations present an added layer of difficulty – but they can also offer unique advantages, which the authors explain how to leverage. Whether readers are looking for guidance on finding and hiring talent, marketing, finances, or scaling, this practical, accessible guide offers clear and compelling answers that light the way.

• The popularity of social enterprises has exploded in recent years – this is the authoritative guide to starting and running one
• Offers practical, from-the-trenches advice from two leading social entrepreneurs on confronting the challenges and seizing the opportunities social enterprises present
• The newest book in the Social Venture Network series – over 50,000 books in the series sold to date

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

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Overview

• The popularity of social enterprises has exploded in recent years – this is the authoritative guide to starting and running one
• Offers practical, from-the-trenches advice from two leading social entrepreneurs on confronting the challenges and seizing the opportunities social enterprises present
• The newest book in the Social Venture Network series – over 50,000 books in the series sold to date

The popularity of social enterprises has exploded in recent years – this is the authoritative guide to starting and running one

Offers practical, from-the-trenches advice from two leading social entrepreneurs on confronting the challenges and seizing the opportunities social enterprises present

The newest book in the Social Venture Network series – over 50,000 books in the series sold to date

Business has the power to change the world, but some businesses embrace that opportunity more aggressively than others do. Social enterprises put their change mission first – what they sell or what service they provide is a means to accomplishing a larger goal, rather than an end in itself.

Their front-and-center commitment to doing good makes social enterprises immensely attractive. But if you want to run one successfully, you have to manage a tricky balancing act. How can you be as efficient as any of your for-profit or nonprofit competitors while at the same time staying true to your social purpose?

In this groundbreaking guide, social entrepreneurs Kevin Lynch and Julius Walls draw on their own extensive experiences and those of twenty other social enterprise leaders to focus on the fundamental blocking and tackling tactics that make the difference between success and failure. Exploring the many paradoxes that can hamstring social enterprises, the authors explain how starting and running a social enterprise requires leaders to adopt an entirely different mindset and often a wholly different perspective on the day-to-day choices they’re forced to make. Likewise, Walls and Lynch help readers grapple with a different set of expectations from employees, investors, customers, and the community. For social enterprise practitioners, these expectations present an added layer of difficulty – but they can also offer unique advantages, which the authors explain how to leverage. Whether readers are looking for guidance on finding and hiring talent, marketing, finances, or scaling, this practical, accessible guide offers clear and compelling answers that light the way.

• The popularity of social enterprises has exploded in recent years – this is the authoritative guide to starting and running one
• Offers practical, from-the-trenches advice from two leading social entrepreneurs on confronting the challenges and seizing the opportunities social enterprises present
• The newest book in the Social Venture Network series – over 50,000 books in the series sold to date

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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is president of Rebuild Resources, Inc., a nonprofit social-purpose business in St. Paul, Minnesota that helps chronic addicts and alcoholics find a path to sobriety through a program of spiritual recovery and work. Rebuild’s business operations include a custom apparel and promotional items business and a contract manufacturer. These businesses provide the recovery environment for Rebuild’s student-employees and serve as the economic engines that fuel the enterprise.

Lynch is currently a board member of the Social Enterprise Alliance and has served on several national and local boards, including those of Social Venture Network, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir, and (as the cofounder) Responsible Minnesota Business.



Visit Author Page - Julius Walls, Jr.


Julius Walls, Jr. is CEO of Greyston Bakery and senior vice president of Greyston Foundation. Walls is also an adjunct professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, where he teaches social enterprise, and at Bainbridge Graduate Institute near Seattle, where he teaches social justice and business.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Walls attended high school and college seminary before pursuing a career in business. He studied business at Baruch College and completed his degree at Concordia College. After beginning his career at an accounting firm, he joined a chocolate manufacturing company and at age twenty-six was appointed vice president of operations. In 1992, he founded his own chocolate company, Sweet Roots, Inc. which sells the only chocolate bar using exclusively African cocoa and produced by an African- American.

Walls worked with Greyston Bakery to bring its cakes and tarts to the White House in 1993. In 1995, he joined Greyston as a marketing consultant and in November 1997 became CEO of the Bakery, adding vice president of Greyston Foundation in January 2000. A core ingredient of Walls's life and career is his spiritual practice. He encourages employees to actively bring their whole selves to work, including their cultural and spiritual selves. He has spoken extensively throughout the country on the topics of social ventures, social purpose businesses, spirituality in the workplace, and business development in the inner city. He is active in service to the community, serving on eight local and national boards. Walls resides in Yonkers with his wife, Cheryl, and three children.

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Table of Contents



Letter from the Editor of the Social Venture Network Series

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Most Successful Business on Earth

Chapter 1:
The Ten Paradoxes of Social Enterprise

Chapter 2: Doing Good Versus Doing Well

Chapter 3: Form Versus Function

Chapter 4: Planning Versus Practice

Chapter 5: Debits Versus Credits

Chapter 6: Do-Gooders Versus Good Doers

Chapter 7: Perception Versus Reality

Chapter 8:
Value Versus Waste

Chapter 9:
Metrics Versus Instinct

Chapter 10: Growth Versus Focus

Chapter 11: Sweat Equity Versus Blood Equity

Epilogue
Contacts
Notes
Index
About Social Venture Network
About the Authors

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Excerpt

mission, inc.

vii

Letter from the Editor of the Social Venture Network Series

How many times have you seen or heard the phrase “social enterprise” during the past few years? A dozen? A hundred? A thousand? Through repeated overuse and misuse, this seemingly straightforward phrase has taken on a range of roles sufficient to overwhelm the most ambitious actor. What you mean when you use the phrase is probably not at all what I mean.

Now here come Kevin Lynch and Julius Walls, Jr., to toss out the playbill and present us with a broad, workable understanding of “social enterprise.” In this brilliant little volume, they work from a definition that revolves around the purpose or mission of an enterprise (hence the title Mission, Inc.) rather than around its legal form or structure. Nonprofit, for-profit, cooperative, hybrid, whatever—it doesn’t matter. What matters is the mission.

In Lynch and Walls’s estimation, a social enterprise is a business that seeks, above all, to make the world a better place—a “business for the common good.” This handy guideline, which eschews the hairsplitting definitions often bandied about at conferences and in books that promote one or another flavor of social enterprise, comes at a convenient time in the evolution of business. The lines between for-profit and not-for-profit businesses are blurring as a pragmatic new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, and philanthropists comes onto the scene determined to use the tools of business to address the urgent need for action to combat economic injustice and environmental damage. Mission, Inc. surveys this landscape, drawing upon the authors’ extensive personal experience managing viiisocial enterprises and on dozens of other well-chosen examples from the membership of Social Venture Network, the Social Enterprise Alliance, and other sources.

By bringing to life through stories and concrete examples the issues that confront the social entrepreneur in the United States, Lynch and Walls have crafted an eminently practical book that fully lives up to its subtitle, “The Practitioner’s Guide to Social Enterprise.” This volume is no academic exercise in intellectual flimflammery. It comes to grips with the often painful and protracted dilemmas facing anyone who leads a business enterprise that seeks to make the world a better place. A glance at the table of contents will prove the point.

Whether you’re running a social enterprise, planning to set one up, or studying contemporary business at a university or a business school, you’ll find Mission, Inc. to be illuminating, thought-provoking, and down-to-earth. You won’t find anywhere a better introduction to the field of social enterprise.


MAL WARWICK

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Endorsements



“Read this book and keep it nearby. It is jam-packed with useful and relevant information not only for the aspiring social entrepreneur but for the experienced one as well. I learned a lot that will help me in my own business.”

—Michael Hannigan, President and cofounder, Give Something Back, Inc.

“Kevin Lynch and Julius Walls have written the most accessible, practical approach to social enterprise in years! Newbies and veterans alike can mine their work over and over again and never come away empty.”

—Jerr Boschee, founder and Executive Director, The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs, and Visiting Professor of the Practice in Social Enterprise, Carnegie Mellon University

“Like the social enterprises it celebrates, Mission Inc. successfully juggles a ‘double bottom line,’ integrating a bold vision for business as a vehicle for social impact with exceptional practical advice for the organizations and people that increasingly pursue an idea whose time has come.”

—Jim Schorr, Professor, Vanderbilt University, and former CEO, Juma Ventures

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