Compendium 2.4 Sustainability

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EQUAL COMPENDIUM ON INCLUSIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

2.4 BUILDING SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISES AMONG DISADVANTAGED GROUPS

In this compendium so far, the emphasis has been on making it easier for disadvantaged groups to start new businesses. But launching a new enterprise from scratch is one of the most difficult ways to go into business. It is less of a gamble to take over or expand an existing business. This might be through taking over the baton from a business person who is nearing retirement, so preserving specialist skills and ensuring continuity for a service that is much prized by its customers. It might be by expanding into new products or new markets, or by taking on a franchise, where a successful formula has already been tried and tested.

This chapter explores these options, as well as the phenomenon of how interlinked businesses in the same sector can take advantage of growing market opportunities while supporting each other. Specific sections show how the public sector can open up its sizeable markets to social enterprises, and how it can most effectively promote the social inclusion through social firms. The following sections set out EQUAL’s work on these issues: