Organizations that contribute to the new economy can be considered to be Social Impact Organizations. Social Impact Organizations are the foundation of a new economy that has the potential of generating a more inclusive economic system. Such organizations can be classified as either social purpose or social practice, or both.
Social purpose organizations are those that explicitly aim to create social value as a business objective. This includes social enterprises, cooperatives, and public authorities. Social practice organizations are those that have a private purpose but intentionally aim to create social value through their business practice. Inclusive business practices can include equity policies, living wage policies, or social and ethical procurement practices, among others. Such organizations may be public, private or non-profit. Some organizations are formally identified as social practice by virtue of their affiliation or accreditation with networks or accrediting bodies such as BCorps, the UN Global Compact or the Ontario Living Wage Network.
Based on this classification, we can propose typology of high and low social purpose intersecting with high and low social practice. It is possible for an organization to have a high social purpose yet not engage in significant inclusive business practices. This is the situation of many non-profit organizations that lack employee benefits or provide inadequate compensation. On the other hand, there are also many private corporations that operate purely for-profit with no overt social purpose, yet engage in strong inclusive business practices. Understanding the intersection between these various dimensions is important for assessing the potential impact of the new economy.
This report analyses data that combines social purpose and social practice organizations in Ontario as well as the results of a survey distributed to those organizations in 2018.