A business that trades primarily to achieve social aims, while making a profit. Social aims might include job creation, training and provision of local services. They are organised along democratic lines, with stakeholders having full say in the direction of the business. Credit unions are examples of banking social enterprises.
Usually, but not always, non-profit-distributing enterprises. They take many institutional forms, including voluntary, co-operative, mutual or companies limited by guarantee, and seek high levels of accountability to their stakeholders. Social enterprises are increasingly recognised as part of a crucial third sector, distinguishing them from the public and private sectors.
Social enterprises are organizations which trade in goods or services, and link that trade to a social mission. The need to deliver on financial, social and environmental performance targets is often referred to as having a triple bottom line.