Rampant unemployment. Prisoner recidivism. Endemic poverty. Solving these problems was once the exclusive province of nonprofits, charitable foundations and government. No longer.
In the past 25 years, a new class of business has sprung up, one that applies private-sector practices to the creation of products and services that address problems of hunger, poverty, illiteracy and climate change—to name a few of society’s pain points. Marked by an agility and growth potential rare among grant-dependent nonprofits, these social enterprises operate on a double bottom line: They try to make a profit while making the world a better place.