The economic value of social enterprise.

This is unlikely to be the first time you've seen a title like this - there has been a great deal of discussion in recent years around the potential economic value of social enterprise. But it's not always easy to relate this to real life. To see how and where this is happening.

We have had the great fortune to work with a range of social enterprises to help them achieve their goals. In this post, I’m going to outline the thinking behind one of our favourites, Urban MBA.

Urban MBA is a business built around the mission of Kofi Oppong. Kofi fought his way from homelessness to an extraordinary and impressive career. He used this experience to shape an inspiring, practical and results-driven education programme for those ‘left behind by the system’.

Kofi believes that education systems are not evolving fast enough in the digital age. That disadvantaged children are often misunderstood. And that as a result, many approach adulthood without the skills, confidence and motivation they need to be successful. They become disengaged with learning as well as with society.

This insight formed the basis of a training program that empowers disadvantaged or disengaged young adults with the tools to become entrepreneurs. And the motivation take control and build a sustainable future for themselves. Urban MBA.

Urban MBA is an educational program that speaks the language of young people today. They design training programs around the behaviours of young people in the digital age. And support young people to build knowledge and skills from their strengths rather than fighting against their weaknesses.

Behind everything is an ambition to change things for the better for young people and work towards a world where no young person is lost or left behind.

Kofi has been building his tried-and-tested training programs into a scalable model that will allow him to reach and help more people. His work creates value for local authorities or businesses with an interest in their local community and local talent. His results-driven focus shows the great potential to generate financial returns behind the social cause.

We believe that a clear value proposition — one that addresses the needs of customers across all touch-points of an enterprise is the key. This is clear within the Urban MBA model. The social return generated from growth investment into a business like this, has the potential to not only change the lives of young entrepreneurs, but also to create jobs, transform communities and financially benefit the local authorities and businesses that support it.

Interested in chatting about the Impact Investment ecosystem or growing sustainable social enterprise? Drop me a message to imo@thinkplanthrive.com.

We’re Think Plan Thrive, a London Based Innovation company that helps organisations to build and thrive from strong foundations.

Visit us at www.thinkplanthrive.com