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