I’m currently reading ‘Your Chance to Change the World’. You see, recently I've been hearing a lot about social enterprise - business ventures that aim to help society rather than just make money. This book is a step by step guide on how to set up such a social enterprise by someone who has. Though these ventures may sell products or charge for services, they also get grants both from government organisations and from charities. People may also give donations.
There was a brilliant article on this in the New York Times a couple of years back: Businesses Try To Make Money and Save The World that is quoted in Andrew Jones’s post on the Fourth Sector. Andrew has just been at the Feast – a conference for social enterprise.
There is a growing trend of people starting social enterprises. Hopefully this trend may help bring us out of recession. Many Christians are setting up such projects. Last year Nettes went to some sessions at Greenbelt about social enterprise run by NET - network of entrepreneurial talent. Christians are seeing it as part of their Christian mission to serve the world and the communities where they are based. Over the next year the Jones’s plan to travel around Europe helping to equip what they refer to as missional entrepreneurs.
Also on this topic the Faithworks site is worth checking out. For instance, their Community Audit Pack looks interesting. It is about assessing the needs in your local community. And they have links to information about funding.
You know what? This is beginning to look doable.