Social Innovation & Enterprise

Massachusetts human services organizations are tremendously excited about social innovation and social enterprise. The Providers' Council seeks to support our members in developing innovative strategies for service delivery and social enterprises.

Providers’ Council efforts include an Innovator Directory, an online compendium of human services innovators and social enterprises operating in Massachusetts. We also have our What a Great Idea! RFP in partnership with Boston College, which supports the growth of new innovations and social enterprises in our sector.

If you are interested in learning about these concepts and how they might apply to your organization, we encourage you to review the below information and the Innovator Directory.

About Social Innovation:

A social innovator in Massachusetts human services is an organization that has improved the sustainability of its organization by developing new or creative approaches to achieving its mission. Innovation occurs at all levels of an organization and in a variety of different ways. Here are just a few examples of social innovation:

  • Developing new, creative ways for delivering services and programs;
  • Improving operational efficiency and effectiveness in departments such as IT, human resources, accounting, fundraising or marketing;
  • Establishing an earned income venture that generates revenue for your organization;
  • Creating partnerships in the public, private and nonprofit sectors; or
  • Executing effective mergers or acquisitions.

Innovators come from all over Massachusetts and include organizations with budgets of all sizes. They serve many of our state’s most vulnerable residents. Some innovative organizations are over 100 years old and some are newly founded. What they have in common is new ideas and great execution. If you have an innovative practice or approach you would like to share in our Innovator Directory, please contact us.

About Social Enterprise:

Social enterprises are nonprofits using earned revenue strategies to directly address social needs through goods and services or by employing people who are disadvantaged. Social enterprises achieve their primary social missions using business methods, harnessing the power of the marketplace to fund solutions or directly solve critical social and environmental problems. Social enterprises pursue a double bottom line -– both financial and social returns, and reinvest those returns in their nonprofit social missions.

Social enterprises:

  • Are amazingly diverse in the social needs they address and the business models they use;
  • Make lives and livelihoods better; and
  • Apply market based strategies to solve today’s social problems

If you have a social enterprise you would like to share in our Innovator Directory, please contact us.

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