How to scale up your social enterprise

By scaling up social enterprises we mean making them grow in and beyond their locality by providing them with support and financial services. When attempting to scale social innovations, the four scaling strategies are defined by considering:
1) whether or not a significant degree of adaptation
2) whether or not the scaling is conducting with significant input (and / or partnership) with others, as shown below.

From ‘Scaling Social Enterprises’ (Weber et al. , 2012), where the authors develop a comprehensive scaling framework to improve understanding of the complex causalities and interdependencies of the various factors affecting the scalability of social impact.

Model 1

Strategy 1: Capacity Building

Social innovations that require support for the development of the suitable business model and business plan in order to tap into finance or get the necessary link to the public authority to develop a PPP will be able to benefit from the second path.  Over this path they will be able to get coaching support with legal and business counselling through one of the “clusters” defined by the consortium.  This path would typically concern social enterprises that want to grow bigger in the same country.

Model 2

Strategy 2: Branching

Social innovations which are already successful in a particular country but would like to scale up into the other countries or develop similar initiatives in the other countries will be able to benefit from a second path – based on the network we create with this project and transfer of information between a variety of clusters. With this path an organisation or an individual – established in one country will be able to get a qualified support through one of our centres established elsewhere in the EU and moreover explore the opportunities to tap into the local financing schemes and public contacts.

Model 3

Strategy 3: Dissemination of Knowledge

Scaling up by using the experiences, knowledge and know-how of a successful social innovation applied to a new context and new team. This could include support to individuals & groups seeking to bring small-scale innovations to a new local context, or possible public authorities and other bodies that have a defined operating area.

Model 4

Strategy 4: Affilation

Social innovations for which ongoing local adaptation is necessary, but which could benefit from ongoing close partnership with existing successful implementations of the social innovation could benefit from the forth scaling trajectory. In this path, social innovations can explore options for developing legal agreements to govern differing degrees of cooperation and explore methods for adapting franchising models found in the private sector to social-mission driven enterprises and organisations.