key elements of a DSE

1. Enterprise must have an a priori commitment to a particular social objective.

The enterprise exists primarily to solve a social objective. Social Entrepreneurs start social enterprises because of a specific social problem that they want to address. The whole enterprise operates because of this commitment to a social objective.

2. The social objective must be measurable.

Social entrepreneurs put measurable targets to their social objective. As in the maxim, “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”, a well-organized Social Enterprise has clearly defined metrics that track the on-going impact of their business and adjust their business strategy accordingly, in order to maximize limited resources in creating maximum benefit.

3. It has the potential and willingness to scale.

Because it is well-run, and its business model is committed to a measurable social objective, the social enterprise has a potential and willingness to scale in order to achieve greater impact in its pursuit of the social objective.

4. The social objective must be integrated in its cost of doing business or cost of goods / services.

The commitment to the social objective is explicitly seen in the enterprise’s business model. They have integrated the social objective as a cost of doing business, and not an after-profit expense. This allows for more scalability of impact as the enterprise grows and expands.

5. Has a sustainable and continuous source of cash flow, demonstrated with at least two years in operations.

The social enterprise needs to be self-sustaining. It must have demonstrated a proof-of-concept that generates value and can sustain them for at least the next 5 years, specially during expansion.

6. “Developmental”

To be considered “developmental” means that the social enterprise’s current assets must not exceed Php 50 million. But DSE’s must have the willingness and potential to scale beyond their current size.