Innovative Solutions for the Social Sector with Offices in New York and Canada

Offering innovative solutions to socially-driven organizations

Strategic Planning and Partnerships for Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise

Most often when people talk of social entrepreneurship, they are referring to earned income ventures. Aperio offers organizations a comprehensive approach to selecting and implementing the social enterprise/earned income venture that is the best fit. Through our process, we work with all aspects of the organization (including its various stakeholders) in order to help it determine what social enterprise avenues will have the greatest likelihood of advancing its vision and mission while delivering a valuable good/service to its client base.

In our view, the general characteristics of earned income ventures include:

  • Customer focused relationship: We see this as an exchange of value: the organization receives pay (even if nominal) and the customer receives the value they place in the service or product.
  • Does not rely upon the social purpose to sell: The product or service can stand-alone in the marketplace. It does not rely on the fact that a social purpose organization is the one providing the good or service.
  • Is an ongoing activity: For Aperio's purposes, earned income ventures are not one-shot deals, but rather an ongoing enterprise
  • Involves a repeat stream of customers or sales

The major stages in Aperio's social enterprise process include:

  • Idea Generation and Screening: To narrow down potential social enterprise ideas based on pre-set criteria
  • Quick Feasibility: To determine whether an idea has business potential and 'fits' the organization (in terms of mission, culture, etc)
  • Business Plan Development: To write an effective business plan (developed in a collaborative effort between Aperio and the organization)
  • Implementation: To successfully achieve the strategic goals and objectives of the earned income idea.

Aperio frequently works with existing social enterprises, to help management teams reach the next level of performance. Examples of support for existing businesses include marketing, pricing, HR strategy, operational efficiencies, cost structure analysis and managerial development.

How We Are Unique:

A number of factors separate Aperio from other social enterprise consultants:

  • We work collaboratively with our clients - we believe it's our role to expertly lead our clients through the process, and it's our clients' role to be experts in their business
  • We focus on action. We believe that the real innovation is in the execution, not the plan.
  • Our process is highly interactive and inclusive. We believe it is important to ensure the active and authentic participation of the staff, board, and other stakeholders as appropriate to build the necessary consensus and ownership for social enterprise idea.
  • We infuse the process with a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, constantly challenging our clients to identify ways in which to direct their resources towards the maximum social return on investment.

If you would like to learn more, please contact us