Starting a social business

Once you have done your research and are confident that you have a viable business proposition, together with the people needed to create and run it, you are in a position to proceed.

The next stage is to create a structure for the enterprise, firm up the financial projections, explore options for start-up finance and put all of this together into a master plan – the Business Plan.

In this section:

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Business plan

Your business plan is a document that describes you and your proposed business, often in great detail.

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Financing a social business

You will almost certainly require start-up finance or 'capitalisation' in order to purchase stock and equipment, pay bills, pay for marketing and so forth. You will also need money to keep paying the bills until you are paid for your products or services.

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The structure of a social business

Social businesses typically involve more than one person in their governance, so unless you intend to be a one-person business, you need to create a legal structure for your business.

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Human resources

Social businesses employ people, like any other business, but often their relationships with employees are more complex. In employee owned businesses or worker co-operatives the employment relationship is the key factor in the running of the business.

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Project management

Creating any business can be a complex process. In a social business start-up, which often involves many people, using effective planning tools is key to ensuring good communication, effective team working and costly mistakes are not made.