Mailbag: Comments From Our Readers

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    One of the nice things about writing a blog is getting comments. And now that the Free Management Library blogs are attracting more than 10,000 readers each week (wow!), we’re glad to hear what readers are thinking. Here are two particularly interesting recent comments:

    On whether the “social” in social enterprise is redundant, Andy Horsnell wrote, quoting the book Mission Inc by Kevin Lynch and Julius Walls, Jr: “After all, a business cannot survive without meeting a social need, real or invented. One could craft an argument, no matter how hollow, that any enterprise is a social one: the NFL’s purpose is to provide an escape from everyday life; the fashion industry’s purpose is to create and celebrate beauty; the beer industry’s purpose is to help a guy take the edge off after a hard day. So, yes, if you really want to argue about it, every business has a social purpose. But we all know better than that. Some things really matter, and some things really don’t. Those things that matter are part of what we might call the common good, and everything else just isn’t. We would argue that the social purpose that is this target of any social enterprise must be squarely aligned with this concept of the common good.”

    On social franchising, Adrian Aston wrote: “I’ve been active in social franchising since 1998 ‘over the pond’ here in the UK – we certainly seem to be a bit behind your thinking and stages of development in this field. I’m just finishing a thesis paper critically reviewing the tools available to social enterprises in the UK who are considering franchising as a growth strategy, but thought you might also be interested in some of my other writings on this subject to date to get a feel for ‘the British perspective’ –
    http://thirdsectorexpert.blogspot.com/2010/03/franchising-social-enterprises.html

    Keep sending in your comments. And if anyone wants to write a guest blog, just let me know.

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    Author of Venture Forth! Endorsed by the late Paul Newman of Newman’s Own
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