D Help social enterprises to improve their performance


This involves reviewing the social enterprise’s performance to make sure it is meeting its social and commercial objectives, improving the way it is structured and run, balancing its commercial and social objectives and preparing plans to achieve financial stability and independence.

What you need to show

You must make sure that your practice meets the following requirements.

a Persuade clients how important it is to review their social enterprise’s performance.

b Show clients different ways they can review performance and help them choose the way to review performance that best suits the purposes and objectives of their social enterprise.

c  Advise clients how to involve their stakeholders in their review and how to improve the way they involve stakeholders in all parts of the social enterprise.

Help clients:

d develop their own way to review performance and carry out the review.

e draw conclusions from performance reviews and use these conclusions to plan improvements.

f balance their social objectives with their commercial objectives.

g set targets for the best size and scale of the social enterprise and understand the effect that growth and change will have on the social enterprise’s management and organisation.

h review their membership structures.

i distinguish between the duties of managers and board members and improve the structures they use to run and manage the social enterprise.

j design jobs and work practices that reflect the values and principles of the enterprise.

k review their financial structure, prepare plans for financial stability and independence and raise investment capital.

l improve their trading profitability, develop and expand trading and identify opportunities for new trading.



What you need to know and understand

You need to know, understand and be able to apply each of the following.

Review processes

1 What the strengths and weaknesses are of different ways of reviewing the performance of social enterprises.

2 How performance reviews and quality assurance systems are linked.

3  How to get information and feedback from stakeholders about how they think the social enterprise is performing. Stakeholders could be board members, sponsors, funders, customers, members, staff members or volunteers.

4 How to design performance reviews so they satisfy the needs of external funders as well as social enterprises.


Size and structure

5  How the values and principles of social enterprise are embodied in organisational structures and processes.

6 How to use social enterprise values and principles to design jobs and ways of working.

7 How management is structured and how decisions are made in social enterprises.

8 How their size affects the way that social enterprises are organised.

9  What affects the best size and scale for a social enterprise.



10   How relationships with stakeholders may change as a social enterprise becomes older and larger.

11   What the costs and benefits are of improved stakeholder involvement.


Legal requirements

12   What the legal duties of directors are.

13   What the latest changes in corporate law are that affect social enterprises.

14    What processes must be followed when suggesting changes to how a social enterprise is set up.


Financial stability and independence

15   What the term ‘sustainability’ means for social enterprises.

16   The key characteristics of each stage a social enterprise will need to go through to survive and grow.

17   What areas of commercial practice are most likely to conflict with the social enterprise’s social objectives.

18   What types of capital investment support the values and principles of different types of social enterprise.

19   The advantages and disadvantages of debt and equity finance for social enterprises.

20  What external factors might affect how social enterprises trade.  These might be political, economic, social, technical, legal or environmental factors.

21   What internal factors might affect the productivity of social enterprises.

22   What opportunities there are to expand the activities of social enterprises through partnerships, joint ventures, franchising (using another company’s name or methods in return for money or a share of the profits), mergers, acquisitions (buying businesses) and takeovers.

23   The main sources of investment for social enterprises.


Personal behaviours

You need to be able to:

24    invite a two-way exchange of information and feedback with others IiP6.3

25   achieve results through the guided actions of others IiP7.5

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