Social Capitalist a couple of definitions



“Social-Capitalism as a theory challenges the idea that Socialism and Capitalism are mutually exclusive. Social-Capitalism posits that a strong social support network for the poor enhances capital output. By decreasing poverty, capital market participation is enlarged.” More >>

Quoting fast company:

Defining a Social Capitalist: From its inception, the Social Capitalist Awards have defined strong performance as a combination of both social impact and organizational effectiveness. This performance is represented by five critical components: Social Impact, Aspiration & Growth, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainability. The underlying theme through all of our components is the organization’s ability to analyze tough social and organizational challenges and to craft solutions that create significant improvements over the status quo. Here is our perspective on each of these components.

Social Impact: We consider several different aspects of social impact. First, we examine the rigor and sophistication of the organization’s approach to social change: its understanding of the problem it is trying to address and the solution it is providing, and whether its performance metrics are tightly aligned with the problem it is addressing. Organizations that look for the highest-leverage, root cause solutions and are committed to assessing their progress in “moving the needle” are positioned to have the most significant social impact.

Secondly we assess the social impact created by the organization. This includes both their direct impact in providing necessary products or services (taking into account the degree of difficulty of their challenge, the depth of impact, and the breadth of the impact), as well as the organization’s ability to drive system-wide change in addressing the targeted social need. We look for organizations that can demonstrate that they are having disproportionately large impact on the problems that they address, relative to other organizations in their area or at their organizational age.

Aspiration and Growth: In addition to proving that an organization is having significant impact today, we also look for organizations that dream big, that aim to push their direct and systemic impact out into the world as far and as fast as they can. Having said that, we look for those high aspirations to be backed by a logical, achievable growth plan that recognizes relevant organizational challenges and milestones. An enormous vision that is not in any way believable or achievable is very unlikely to create tremendous impact, and the organization may waste scarce resources in the process.

Entrepreneurship: We define entrepreneurship as “the ability to do a lot with a little.” For each applicant, we look for specific evidence that the organization is able to gather and command disproportionately large resources (e.g. financial, human, partnership or intellectual assets), and thinks strategically about which resources it deploys in solving its social problem. We also seek proof that these resources are being used to their maximum potential and efficiency. Finally, we look for indications that the organization is truly entrepreneurial in nature: passionate, ambitious, creative, flexible, focused on constant improvement, and willing to hold individuals accountable for meaningful results.

Innovation: We define innovation as the organization’s ability to generate a game-changing or pattern breaking idea—either a new solution to an existing social problem or a startling new business or operational model. We also look for evidence that a culture of innovation exists within the organization—that there are processes for continuously developing significant new ideas, evaluating whether or not the organization should invest in a new idea, and plans in place to carry them out. At the highest level, a Social Capitalist winner is not a one-hit-wonder of innovation, nor does it endlessly pursue new ideas without significant results; it systematically and strategically uses innovation to maximize its social impact against its targeted problem.

Sustainability: Sustainability has two primary dimensions in our assessment. The first establishes that the organization has a strong income strategy to support the organization and its future growth plans. This means reliable, renewable funding sources that are strategically aligned with the mission and business model of the organization. We are purposefully agnostic on the subject of earned revenue. If an organization earns revenue in a way that is fully integrated with its model for creating social impact, that organization gets high marks; if the earned income seems to be an unrelated add-on business, a distraction from the social mission, we’re not impressed. In addition to sustainability from a financial perspective, we also look for indications of the general strength of the management team and board and their combined ability to anticipate challenges within the organization and or its operating environment.

Customized Approach: One of the most challenging aspects of our assessment methodology is the need to understand and take into account the unique context and choices of each individual organization and their social mission. There are no standardized, universally applicable metrics for any of our criteria that would allow an apples-to-apples comparison across all applicants. Instead, we invest significant effort to develop a sound understanding of each organization and the environment in which it operates. For each organization, the unique challenges and influences of the problem it is tackling, its chosen business model and organizational form, and its relative age or life stage all influence how we define strong performance for that organization.

End quote – there is a lot more material at the Fast Company website.


One thought on “Social Capitalist a couple of definitions

  1. Cole Wiggins

    “As retired social workers my wife and I are am interested in becoming involved in a social Capitalist/Entrepreneurship project to serve disadvantaged peoples and communities nationally and internationally. Instead of creating another organization we would prefer to become involve in an project currently in operation and perhaps do our work as an independent chapter. Could you please send information on your organization and any advice you would have for us in this project.”

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