LEARNING THE THEORY & PRAXIS OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AS PART OF MY INTERNSHIP IN THE PHILIPPINES

As an intern, one of my responsibilities is to regularly read and reflect on various books and informative pieces. Recently, I read “How To Manage a Business that Does Good.” This activity is crucial because it broadens my understanding of key concepts related to social enterprises, peacebuilding, and the sociopolitical context in the Philippines. Reflecting on these readings helps me contemplate new ideas, challenge existing beliefs, and critically assess what I’m learning. This ongoing process of reading and reflection will work in tandem with my fieldwork. As I apply what I’ve learned in real-world settings, my perspective will be further enriched. The combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience will enhance my ability to contribute effectively to the projects I am involved in. Over the course of the year, this integrated approach will help me expand my worldview, making me a more informed and empathetic participant in the field of social enterprises and peacebuilding.

The book, How to Manage a Business that Does Good, has profoundly expanded my understanding of social entrepreneurship and business management. The book delves into the principles and practices of social enterprises, providing an excellent overview of key concepts and terms. The discussion on social satisfaction was particularly enlightening, emphasizing the importance of addressing social issues alongside financial goals. This book has significantly enhanced my understanding of social enterprises and provided valuable insights into managing a business with a social mission. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to integrate ethical considerations into their business operations.

“How to Manage a Business that Does Good” is a compelling guide to the principles and practices of social entrepreneurship. This book provides an in-depth analysis of how businesses can seamlessly integrate ethical considerations into their core operations. Through a blend of real-world case studies and actionable strategies, it illuminates the transformative potential of socially conscious business models and challenges the traditional notions of success.

The book opens with an insightful introduction to social enterprises, offering a comprehensive overview of key terms and principles. One particularly intriguing concept discussed is “social satisfaction,” which lies at the heart of social enterprises, differentiating them from conventional businesses by prioritizing social missions alongside financial goals. This dual focus enables social enterprises to address societal challenges, promote inclusivity, and catalyze systemic change effectively.

While the book excels in many areas, it could benefit from a deeper discussion on the compromises social enterprises must make. Given that profitability is essential for sustainability, the delicate balance between social impact and financial viability is a crucial topic. Greater insight into cost-cutting strategies without compromising core values would be invaluable, particularly in the context of environmental sustainability.

One of the most enlightening sections for me was Chapter 5, which delves into profitability. Here, the author introduces various accounting forms essential for running a business, including cash flow statements, balance sheets, and profit and loss statements. These examples, though complex, provide a solid foundation for further study. The discussion on liquidity and activity ratios was particularly beneficial, highlighting essential tools for maintaining financial stability and maximizing social impact.

The book also sheds light on the importance of understanding demographics, psychographics, and technographics. These factors are critical for any business but are especially pertinent for social enterprises, which must align their target audience’s characteristics with their social mission. The contrasting examples of Coffee for Peace and Black Rifle Coffee Company illustrate how different social enterprises can successfully target distinct audiences.

Another standout section is the detailed examination of Vision and Mission statements, Objectives, Key Result Areas, and Performance Indicators (VMOKRAPIs). This framework offers a strategic guideline and measurement tool for social enterprises. The practical examples provided, particularly from Coffee for Peace, make this section especially relatable and actionable.

How to Manage a Business that Does Good is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in social entrepreneurship. It expands one’s understanding of both social enterprises and business management, offering a thorough overview of the basics and beyond.

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