Social Enterprise Development
Eco-Ethonomics Inc. offers a full range of services for supporting social entrepreneurs and organizations starting social enterprises along the continuum of social enterprise development from idea generation, to feasibility and business planning, through to business launch and acceleration to their full market potential.
We have assisted over 100 organizations and individual entrepreneurs starting social enterprises at various stages of the development process. We help develop and test innovative business ideas and define social enterprise models that are tailored to the specific social, environmental and economic objectives of each client. Our specialty in market intelligence and stakeholder engagement make the planning process we facilitate, a way to build and catalyze a supportive community for success.
Our services for supporting social enterprises are:
Our pre-feasibility workshop offers tools to test and determine which business idea is the best fit with the organization, individual or collaborative with the potential to achieve both social and environmental objectives and exhibiting adequate market potential.
We pride ourselves on empowering leadership within organizations to own the business planning processes, ensuring that plans are not merely nice-to-have written documents! Our methodology embraces the capacity building approach and creates multiple hands-on, action oriented, learning opportunities for individuals who will help drive the enterprise.
Engaging key stakeholders at each point of the planning process results in a galvanized community with energy and passion dedicated to implementation of the enterprise. This makes the plan and development process truly worth the investment of time, energy and resources.
The business planning process includes:
- Defining the management structures
- Setting goals and targets
- Assessing the market in detail (sector, customer and competitor analysis)
- Defining the product/service offering
- Defining the value proposition and competitive advantage of the business
- Setting a price
- Developing a marketing and promotional strategy
- Operational planning
- Defining social and environmental mission and impact
- Detailed financial planning (for three years)
Social Purpose Enterprises
For social enterprises that are committed to training and employing vulnerable or marginalized people our business planning process helps integrate structures into the business to address the needs of the people they employ. We call this a human development plan and have assisted many social purpose enterprises in developing and communicating their unique strategy for building human capital and connecting the marginalized to the mainstream economy.
Business Development and Coaching – for social enterprises whose business strategy includes establishing partnerships or securing contracts with larger institutional customers, or working on finding sponsors, Eco-Ethonomics offers support in these areas on an as needed basis.
Investment and Resource Development – for clients who desire support around securing investment and funding for their enterprise, Eco-Ethonomics can assist in brokering the necessary relationships and partnerships through its established network
Multi-Media – through our internal team and trusted partners Eco-Ethonomics is offering video production services, graphic design, website design and development, social media and digital strategy for social enterprises.
Sector Building We complement our services by also working to build supportive infrastructure and investment strategies for seeding new enterprises and cultivating those already in existence. From incubation to acceleration, our aim is to move social enterprises to achieve their full market potential and generate maximum impact.
Social Enterprise is a burgeoning area that is transforming the social sector. More and more, non-profit, charitable organizations are entering the realm of business. Starting an enterprise is a way of improving financial sustainability while simultaneously serving the community and fulfilling the organizations mission. Many also have the added benefit of providing employment for people who are vulnerable and/or marginalized.
Evaluation and Impact Assessment
Evaluation and Impact Assessment is a field in which our team excels. We specialize in developmental evaluation, outcome-based evaluation, third-party evaluation and overall organizational assessment. We offer an evaluation process that is customized to our clients needs and based on an inclusive, learning and capacity building approach. Our team collects relevant quantitative and qualitative data through a number of effective methods depending upon the objectives and stakeholders involved in each project. We excel at identifying outcomes and core indicators for measuring the hard to measure. The evaluation frameworks that we assist in developing provide the foundation for a unique set of tools and documentation processes to be developed.
Evaluations that we have conducted yield the following results:
- Goals and outcomes of their programs services and initiatives are more clearly defined
- More accurate information is collected
- Significant staff learning
- Insightful findings assist in directing work and progressing toward defined goals more effectively
- Accomplishments get acknowledged more improving organizational culture
- Impact is more easily communicated
- Identification of areas for improvement in tracking progress
- Improved follow through in evaluation activities
- Additional investment in both evaluation and evaluation planning
- More resources are allocated or acquired as a result of impacts being better communicated
Our flexible service packages for sustainability planning are defined in collaboration with our clients.
We spend considerable time listening to the needs of our clients and refining a process that will maximize value for them and their organizations. Depending on whether the client is a Municipality, University, Corporation or NGO the process will look different. We also recognize that each one of our clients starts the process from a different place in terms of their understanding, current activity, beliefs and values, predefined goals and objectives, as well as, the engagement level of their employees and current internal culture.
Generally, our process includes an exploration or assessment phase, followed by an inclusive planning process to generate sustainability solutions and mobilize action through stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Our marketing and media experts then assist in defining messages, refining a marketing and communication plan, and utilizing new and digital media to ensure maximum cultural transformation, market impact and brand equity. Finally, performance and impact is monitored to track the results achieved through the sustainability initiatives that have been implemented by the organization.
Every 3-5 years most non-profit organizations, get their board of directors together to reflect on past successes and areas for improvement, identify new opportunities, revisit their mission and values, and set strategic directions for the future. We have supported many organizations through this process to produce inspiring, attainable and ambitious plans defining their core strategy and directions for directing their mission-based activities.
Our strategic planning process includes the following steps:
Stakeholder Consultation – we often conduct an environmental scan, collecting and compiling information from key stakeholders to feed into the organizational planning process.
Strategic Planning Sessions – we develop a common agenda for a strategic planning retreat that includes input from organizational leaders, board members and staff. Our consultants facilitate the planning sessions that are designed to ensure maximum participation and capture feedback on each agenda item. Our approach keeps conversations moving towards clear decision points using a process that builds on group wisdom and promotes consensus.
Strategic Plan Writing – our team writes concise and comprehensive strategic plans that can be used as communication documents and made publicly available online or in print to stakeholders.
Implementation Planning – our strategic planning process often combines implementation planning to assist organizations in defining tasks, timelines, roles and responsibilities and necessary inputs for putting their plans into action. At the end of the strategic planning process we want our clients to have plans that are engaging, enacted and alive. For this reason we believe implementation planning is essential.
Social Media and Digital Strategy
Non-profit organizations have always been the champions of creating community. To be successful in an increasingly interconnected world today, non-profit organizations stand to greatly benefit by embracing the power of social media. By creating an informed and engaged online community you will be able to mobilize a ‘community of support’ to achieve your mission.
Eco-Ethonomics Inc. has developed an affordable, customizable service package for assisting organizations in developing an online presence through the use of social and digital media.
Our in-house experts devise a strategy through the analysis of social media sites related to your organization’s mission, vision and values. We strategically design an information database that is relevant to your community to create a growing and sustainable online presence for your organization. Most importantly, we expand your network by connecting you with a community of caring citizens, passionate leaders and partners.
- Raise awareness of your organization
- Increase donations through online fundraising
- Create a buzz around new and ongoing initiatives
- Build an information base to educate your audience
- Attract volunteer involvement in your organization
- Improve participation in your programs/services
- Engage community partners
For more information please download our brochure:
Community-Based Research and Policy Development
Eco-Ethonomics Inc. offers community-based research services to our clients which is a process that engages and mobilizes a community of stakeholders in a change process. Unlike other top-down methods, throughout this process the local community is empowered to decide what it needs, desires and will work toward.
Often our research combines various primary and secondary sources to create a detailed picture of a community and its context to assist in formulating a shared vision. Our team collects both quantitative and qualitative data through community consultations, online and offline surveys, focus groups, public forums, town hall meetings, literature reviews, online desk research, available census and industry data and other methods when and where appropriate.
Through the process community members and a wide array of stakeholders participate in conversations around a particular topic or set of issues that they have in common with the objective of developing solutions. This community-based research process, combined with effective facilitation often leads to the formation of action-oriented, working groups consisting of community leaders that take ownership of the process and start to drive community initiatives and/or the development of new policy.