Group of people taking part in activity

Having identified the need in the community that your social business will address, can you now describe or define that community?

Describe how the need being addressed impacts on this community. Does it affect individuals, families, schools, the local economy and so forth?

Estimate the size of the community in terms of population, geographical area and so on. Within that community, what is the scale of the problem? If you draw on research to do this, cite your sources.

Stakeholder analysis

This is a useful exercise to carry out. It helps to clarify how the enterprise relates to the various elements of the community of which it is a part and in due course it will help you determine the most appropriate legal form.

First, list all the groups and bodies that have an interest in the success of the project. This will include but not be limited to:

  • those impacted by the social output
  • strategic partners
  • investors
  • workers
  • local authorities and government agencies

The next stage is to identify, for each of these groups:

  • What is their interest?
  • Is satisfying them crucial to success?  For example, you won't get very far if you don't pay your taxes.
  • Will they influence the development of the enterprise?  Should they be involved in governance?  If so, how?

You can then prioritise the stakeholders in terms of a) how important it is to satisfy them and b) how much influence they have. The one at the top of the list is your key stakeholder. These are the people you are actually working for.

Find out more about stakeholder analysis and how to use it as a tool for success

Download a tool to help you carry out a stakeholder analysis.