What is a social enterprise?
Paper Crown is a registered Canadian not-for-profit social enterprise (reg. #891912-7), which means we use a hybrid revenue model that allows us to fundraise and accept donations for some of our projects as needed, as well as to charge fees for some of our services when and where it is applicable and appropriate, such as gender workshops for institutional clients. However, any fees we charge are based on a cost recovery model, meaning we cannot charge for the purpose of gaining a margin of profit beyond the income that covers our base costs for the work required. In addition, our status as a not-for-profit means we are required to ensure that all of our business dealings and special initiatives do not generate a margin of profit, unless that profit is reinvested back into the company; in other words, any profit we make beyond cost recovery goes right back into Paper Crown to support the work that we do. In short, we're not permitted to fill the pockets of shareholders through our efforts, and that's just fine by us (we don't even have shareholders, anyway)! We are proud to work with passionate and driven individuals who truly care about our mission and vision.
Paper Crown in Rwanda
In Rwanda, PCI also operates as a social business but relies more on the fee-for-service aspect of our model supplemented by "angel investors" and crowdfunding to generate the extra revenue needed to offer programs and projects free-of-charge to those who can benefit from them, particularly adolescent girls.
More about social enterprises
A social enterprise is a business that is established in order to make an impact on society in a positive and meaningful way, both by addressing social issues through the services and operations of the business itself, as well as by investing any margin of profit back into the company.
Put another way...
"A social business is a cause-driven business. It must be financially sustainable and mission-oriented. The company must achieve its social objective and at the same time cover all costs through a revenue model. Like an NGO, it has a social mission, but like a business, it generates its own revenues to cover its costs. While investors may recoup their investment, all further profits are reinvested into the same or other social businesses."
(Source: Yunus Social Business Global Initiatives)