Of course, impact is at the heart of social entrepreneurship. A social entrepreneur is driven by a desire to effect positive change on a community, on society, or on the world, rather than the more ‘traditional’ desire to make money. So the way that a social enterprise measures its effectiveness is not purely by its bottom line (although that is still important - people need to earn money!) but by the level of impact it is having - and if the company strategy is delivering the desired impact.
The desired impact is of course derived directly from the entrepreneur’s vision and the problem they have identified, and it can be measured numerically, but also with softer metrics. Later today we will post a video clip of Mark Swift discussing the impact his organisation Wellbeing Enterprises has had on the community and wider society. Their programmes have helped improve the health and wellbeing of more than 28,000 people, but they have also had economic impact, with a huge return on investment for every pound invested in them; he is equally proud of creating a legacy of community members who work together to feel better. Karen Mattison’s Timewise has 90,000 people registered and looking for meaningful part time work, and she talks of the huge satisfaction she takes in hearing stories of people being able to progress their careers in part-time roles thanks to Timewise. Michael Sani is proud of the part that his organisation Bite the Ballot has played in making politics - and caring about political issues - ‘cool’, with hugely increased voter registrations, as well as how they have influenced changes in public policy.