What is a social enterprise toolkit?

April 24, 2023
5 min read
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If you’re an individual setting up a social enterprise or you have an idea and desire to make the world a better place then you should be looking at how you can easily do this. Setting up a social enterprise from scratch can be intimidating and you can sometimes feel isolated on the journey. 

Transforming your existing business or charity into a social enterprise can equally feel challenging. Think of a guide that can help you understand and overcome the challenges you encounter on this journey; that’s what a social enterprise toolkit does. 

It’s important to learn from the experiences of others to simplify your own processes and help you avoid making certain common mistakes and wasting time and other resources. 

Social enterprise toolkit: Explained

A Social Enterprise Toolkit is a collection of resources, tools, and strategies designed to help social entrepreneurs and organizations create and run successful businesses that generate positive social and environmental impact. It typically includes guidance on topics such as business planning, marketing, fundraising, impact measurement, and legal structures.

A good social enterprise toolkit focuses on skills that are important in a social enterprise. It guides you through the process of planning to the task of establishing the social enterprise and commencing operations.

Is a Social Enterprise toolkit for You? 

Anyone who is interested in starting or running a social enterprise can benefit from using a social enterprise toolkit. However, if you fall under any of the following groups, then you should definitely consider investing in a social enterprise.

  • A social entrepreneur who wants to develop or grow your social enterprise
  • A nonprofit organization looking to explore social enterprise as a fundraising strategy
  • An organization interested in community development and seeking to support local entrepreneurs
  • A government agency interested in promoting social enterprise as a means of economic development
  • Business incubators or accelerators focused on social enterprise development.

If you’re interested in finding out more about why should invest in a social enterprise toolkit, check out our blog, The Benefits of Investing in A Social  Enterprise Toolkit.

Components of A Social Enterprise Toolkit  

Using a Social Enterprise Toolkit can be a game-changer for you if you’re looking to make a difference in  your community or the world. Here are some key things your social enterprise toolkit will explore and you should look out for. 

1. Business planning

When you are setting up a social enterprise you normally write a business plan to give you an outline of how to achieve your big idea. It is important to think about your enterprise in its simplest form. Your big idea is not enough without a plan to execute it . A social enterprise toolkit can help you create a solid business plan that outlines your mission, goals, and strategies for achieving them. It can also guide you through the process of identifying your target market, beneficiaries and assessing the competition.

2. Marketing

You want to ensure you’re reaching the right target audience with the help of your toolkit. The toolkit can provide you with tips and best practices for marketing your social enterprise and reaching your prospects, including developing a brand, creating a marketing strategy, performing good market research to get to know your customers, leveraging social media.communicating your offer and measuring marketing success. It gives you an understanding of what you need to succeed and allows you to answer questions about your social enterprise and marketing mix to enable you streamline your marketing efforts. Skip the trial and error stage in your marketing activities and launch the campaigns that will help you achieve your goals. 

3. Fundraising

Raising funds to support your enterprise will help you reach more people and create greater impact. The toolkit offers guidance on fundraising strategies, such as crowdfunding, grants, and impact investments. You don’t have to struggle to communicate with investors because it also helps you to develop a pitch that effectively communicates your social mission and impact to potential investors. Apart from showing you how to get the financial support that you need, a social enterprise toolkit also guides you on record keeping, social enterprise budgeting and managing your finances. 

4. Impact measurement

Measuring the social and environmental impact of your enterprise is critical to its success.  A good social enterprise toolkit will provide you with tools and frameworks for tracking and measuring your impact, as well as reporting on it to stakeholders. It’s no doubt that measuring and reporting impact in as a social enterprise can be challenging but the toolkit helps you set key performance indicators that help you do this. 

5. Legal structures

You want to make sure you’re doing things right and setting an example by setting up your social enterprise legally. Choosing the right legal structure for your social enterprise is important for ensuring that it operates in a sustainable and responsible manner. The social enterprise toolkit can help you understand the different legal structures available and guides you through the process of selecting the one that best aligns with your mission and goals. There is no single right answer in legally setting up your enterprise. You may know what legal structure you want for your business but the question is if that is what you need.  Bear in mind the toolkit highlights a  number of factors when ​you ​are ​considering ​your ​social ​enterprise ​formation.

Making the most of your Social Enterprise Toolkit  

There’s a lot that a good social enterprise has to offer. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve and which stage of your journey you’re at, your needs may differ from the next impact maker.  Take the time to fully comprehend what the toolkit is designed to accomplish and how it can help you achieve your social enterprise goals. 

  • Identify areas where the toolkit can be most useful: Assess your current business model, operations, and areas where you need support. Then, identify which sections of the toolkit can best address these needs.
  • Utilize the resources provided: Social enterprise toolkits often contain various resources, such as templates, guides, and case studies. Take advantage of these resources to help streamline your operations and optimize your impact.
  • Adapt the toolkit to your specific needs: While the toolkit may provide valuable insights and guidance, remember that it may not fit your specific circumstances. Adapt the toolkit to your needs and focus on the sections that are most relevant to your social enterprise. Answering the questions in the templates provided are a good way to adapt the toolkit to your needs. 
  • Continuously evaluate your progress: Regularly assess your progress and use the toolkit to identify areas where you can improve. Utilize the resources provided to refine your strategies and continue to grow your social enterprise.


In summary, social entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations may face unique challenges in terms of financing, legal structures, and measuring social impact, but a social enterprise toolkit is a resource that is available to help navigate these issues. Use this toolkit to ease the process of establishing your social enterprise. The best thing is although it offers best practices and case studies you can learn from, with all the answers you provide along the way you’re the one in charge of ensuring you bring your idea to life.  

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