Eastside Primetimers is a management consultancy with a difference.

Working exclusively on behalf of not-for-profits, we provide professional support for CEOs and Boards who are seeking to transform their organisations to be fit for the future.

10 of the best: Charity enterprise resources

10 of the best: Charity enterprise resources

Richard Litchfield

Charitable trading and social enterprise have been much-discussed in recent years. If you’re ready for a deep-dive, here’s the Eastside Primetimers list of the very best resources that are online right now.  


1. The inconvenient truth about social enterprises

Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, argues convincingly that social enterprises just aren’t set up to have major commercial success.

2. The daunting financial barriers to scaling social enterprise

A great analysis by blogger David Floyd explaining why scaling up is very rarely achieved by social sector organisations – it’s a finance issue – and he identifies what kind of funding is needed to be a game-changer.

3. How corporate partnerships can overcome growth hurdles

This case study from the US in Stanford Social Innovation Review describes how a small organisation recycling perishable fruit teamed up with a large food distributor. Cross-sector partnerships like these can create phenomenal routes to market for not-for-profits that want to trade.

4. Three business models for social enterprise

Paul Cheng and Joe Ludlow from social investor CAF Venturesome describe three ways in which social sector organisations can trade: maximising profits which can then be recycled back into the organisation; managing a trade-off between producing financial return and social impact; or aligning your financial and social returns. Its beauty is in its simplicity.

5. The Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas was created by Alexander Osterwalder of consultancy Strategyzer. It is a popular template (“your business model on one page”) for developing a new business model or strategy which can be adapted for social sector organisations. 

6. Dan Pallotta’s TED talk about rethinking charity

Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out double standards of the charity model and eloquently advocates for change, including more celebrating of entrepreneurial behaviour.

7. Steve Jobs on putting the customer first

In this Q&A, Apple CEO Steve Jobs explains the company’s strategy in 1997 – just before it wrote the most successful growth story in history. It’s brilliant on why the customer journey comes first, relevant to all those trading for purpose.

8. What is social investment?

Peter Morris, investment director at social investor SASC, explains the differences – in his view – between the terms “social investing” and “impact investing”.

9. Why social investment is worth the bother

Three great videos (watch all of them highlighted on the page) which explain why we need to accept that raising finance is complex, whether we are in the social sector or private sector.

10. Can capital markets become a force for positive change?

We couldn’t finish this list without an uber-optimistic vision of the future of trading for social purpose. Investment expert Audrey Choi (CEO of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and former adviser to President Obama) talks about the power the consumer has to make a difference by investing in organisations that champion social values.

Thinking of trading? Six tips for your charity

Thinking of trading? Six tips for your charity

Why every charity needs a strategy

Why every charity needs a strategy