Why do we think we are a social enterprise?

"A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders" as expressed on Wikipedia. We at Made for Freedom have a vision to put an end to human sex trafficking by providing dignified employment for marginalized women, particularly those rescued and restored from sex trafficking. Not only are many of the products made by survivors, which furnishes jobs along the supply chain, but we also send 20% of profits to restoration centers that offer life skills and job training so that more dignified work options become attainable. Instead of a focus on maximizing profits, we intend to maximize the potential of these women and the society around them. This is not to say that pursuing profits is not a goal or will be avoided, but instead that maximizing profits is of secondary importance and is purposed for the goal of increasing our ability to better achieve our social mission. All this shows that Made for Freedom has the distinguishing characteristics presented by the Social Enterprise Alliance, and as the company grows, we will aim to exemplify the "Weberian 'ideal-type'" as laid out by EMES.

We also believe that the spirit engendered within the social enterprise concept implies a focus on those in the world who are less fortunate than most, as advocated in the Spring 2007 edition of SSIR. If a business had as its mission to provide employment and community stewardship training for executive-level employees dealing with depression, we think this should not classify as a social enterprise but instead as a valuable service. Even though these services may be squeezed into the criteria above, such inclusion would dilute the intention of social enterprise initiatives, which we feel, in cases where people are served, should be reserved for the benefit of the less fortunate.

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