Social Enterprise vs. Nonprofit | Job One KC | Business on a Mission

Social Enterprise vs. Nonprofit

Job One has been serving our community in the Kansas City region for over fifty years with a mission of providing job choices and opportunities for individuals with disabilities. We are a nonprofit organization, but our model is unique from many nonprofits, in that we have revenue-generating business units that deliver income to support our mission. As our commercial services for business clients have expanded over the years — including document shredding and disposal, packaging and assembly, staffing, Job One Careers and recycling services — referring to Job One as simply a “nonprofit” does not fully sum up all our organization offers for both businesses and individuals in the community. We believe the term “social enterprise” is a much more accurate descriptor of Job One.

What is a Social Enterprise?

A social enterprise is a type of nonprofit business that employs people and earns income to fund programs that drive social change and positively impact populations in need.

With nearly 70% of our operation supported by earned revenue, you can see how this term, by definition, is a good fit for Job One, our mission and the services we offer. Job One operates businesses enterprises that subsidize other business enterprises and activities to further our mission of creating employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Many agencies similar to Job One around the nation have shifted to using this terminology to better describe their unique revenue-generating service models. We are making the shift as well. You will begin to see this term more as we talk about Job One and what we do.

How will use of the “Social Enterprise” term impact Job One?

We are still a nonprofit, and our tax reporting status as a 501(c)3 will not change with this shift.

In short, the change allows our leadership, board, staff, employees, participants, donors and advocates to better describe who Job One is and what we do. We believe this will make a positive impact culturally for our organization and how we communicate about our programs and services, as well as help share our message more effectively externally.

Our goal, as a social enterprise, is to serve our employees, customers, and community by offering top-quality commercial services that fund programming. This will ultimately allow Job One to be a leader in driving social change to positively impact the lives of individuals with disabilities.