2 Types of Social Business Models

“Paper = Food” is the newest social business campaign by Give Something Back (GSB) Business Products. They address local hunger issues in the USA, while helping the environment through recycled paper and helping the local community with food bank donations. This is a great example to help you figure out what business to start.

Triple Pundit writer, Amie Vaccaro, wrote a wrap-up of GSB’s campaign in her article, ‘Give Something Back: Turning Paper Into Food.’

2 Categories of Social Business Models

From examining GSB, Amie points out 2 general categories that social businesses can use to solve social issues with entrepreneurial spirit and profit. This was the most interesting part, in my perspective, and this can be useful for you as a social entrepreneur.

I see two general categories.

  1. In one case, a business provides social value through its operations, so investing profits in the business creates more value. This is the typical social venture, as I define it, and examples include TerraCycle, Recyclebank, Earth Baby and so many more (those are just a few that I’ve written about).
  2. 2. Then there are more traditionally philanthropic companies, that have well established business models and either give their profits to charity, like GSB, or devise cause marketing campaigns to drive social value, separate from the core operations, such as the Virgin Mobile RE*Generation campaign I wrote about recently.

This distinction can be useful for you in determining which model is best suited for your needs and the circumstances of your social or environmental challenge.

Check out the article for more information about Give Something Back’s campaign and spark new ideas for what business to start.