Hybridrization Movement: integrating social and financial enterprises

In Search of the Hybrid Ideal is a good article based on some research by Stanford and Echoing Green on the emergence of “hybrid” social enterprises, early stage projects that focus on both social impact and financial sustainability. This integration is something we have both worked towards for many years. All of the social and mission projects we sponsor, for example, have an economic strategy that enables them to move from dependence to sustainability and actually, we hope, creates strong organizations that can give generously to the next cycle of social enterprise launches.

Chart hybridization movement 427x358

They give an example of Hot Bread Kitchen

Hot Bread Kitchen exemplifies a larger trend among social innovators toward creating hybrid organizations that primarily pursue a social mission but rely significantly on commercial revenue to sustain operations. Such hybrids have long existed in certain sectors, such as job training, health care, and microcredit—but in recent years they have begun to appear in new sectors, including environmental services, consulting, retail, consumer products, catering, and information technology.  In Search of the Hybrid Ideal
 Finding a balance is important.

Hybrids also must strike a delicate balance between social and economic objectives, to avoid “mission drift”—in this case, a focus on profits to the detriment of the social good. In Search of the Hybrid Idea

I recommend reading the article and if you have time, check out what I wrote on the subject of 4th sector enterprises in early mission experiments.

Also on TSK: Resourcing Missional Entrepreneurs {without creating charity cases).

Are you successfully launching “hybrid” models of missional enterprise? Let me know.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • janelle says:

    hoping to get Christian friends to review my Christianity Today Kyria article. Will you?

  • Ron KIng says:

    Just starting up Energy With a Mission. Using social capital of any nonprofit to gather customers for deregulated energy provider. Working in PA, NJ and MD area. Established energy provider pays initial and monthly funds to organizations in return for referrals. Although it uses cause based marketing, we are attempting greater integration than a simple reward program. Nonprofits begin to share in profits from corporate growth as additional nonprofits participate.
    Mostly a fundraising program, the social goals in mind include job creation as members/friends of nonprofit earn personal income for work done making referrals. Another social benefit is developing a social network of those making referrals as crucible for creating ethical relationship marketing practices. We exist as a workshop for learning how to “make friends by means of unrighteous mammon”.
    So far, African Road (Rwanda) and Golan Learning Center (migrant workers in NJ) have each earned over $1,000. We’ve begun a learning community to develop practices for other groups working together for the common good of all ministries.
    We hope to reform the relational aspect of sales with attitudes and principles that build and strengthen relationships rather than use them. We are more of a traditional business moving toward social enterprise.
    We’re concerned about unintended consequences of joining business and social enterprise as when religious groups developed hybrid ventures with political movements. I hope we can be salt/light in the world of commerce. http://www.energywithamission.org

  • Gene Stone says:

    The integration I think is perfectly planned. There is an advantage of it because it can make a single social enterprise stands independently which is a reason to be more strong in terms of financial stability.

  • Ruth Collins says:

    We cannot just simply say that integration is perfectly planned if we haven’t even tried it yet. We know for a fact that this can help the business firms to improve and to meet financial stability.

  • quickcash says:

    Hybridization Movement is not a normal thing; it is really a great movement. It is totally based on the integration of two different sectors, first is social and second financial enterprises. This will be really beneficial for everyone.

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