Measuring the Size, Scope & Scale of the Social Enterprise Sector in Manitoba
Elson, Peter R.
Hall, Peter V.
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This project surveyed social enterprises in Manitoba during the spring and summer of 2011 to develop clear indicators of their size, market activities, and socio‐economic contributions. In this study, a social enterprise is defined as a business venture, owned or operated by a nonprofit organization that sells goods or provides services in the market to create a blended return on investment; financial, social, environmental, and cultural. Using this definition, researchers identified 266 operating social enterprises in Manitoba. Of the 266 social enterprises that received the survey, 118 responded. Indicators of socio‐economic contribution included sales and revenue, expenditures, employment, volunteer engagement, and clients served and trained. Respondents were asked to report results of the 2010 financial year. The following report is a summary of the survey findings. Prior to revealing the survey findings, this paper provides a brief history of the innovative approaches to community economic development that have been used in Manitoba. The province’s roots in community‐based economic models laid the foundation for Manitoba’s current social enterprises, which are found to be a diverse sector, composed of businesses meeting a range of poverty reduction, social, cultural or environmental goals. The survey results suggest that in 2010, the 118 responding social enterprises generated at least $55.4 million in cumulative revenue, including at least $41.5 million generated through sales. Responding social enterprises paid at least $25.3 million in salaries and wages to 3,752 people, of whom 3,450 were employed as part of the mission of the organization. We estimate that Manitoba social enterprises paid, on average, just over $20,000 in wages and salary per full‐time equivalent employee. Additionally, social enterprises trained 6,890 individuals, generated 5,870 volunteer opportunities, and provided services to an average of 4,200 people. This paper builds a strong case for stakeholders, community, funder, and government, to collaboratively value these distinct contributions and to support hospitable environments for social enterprises.