To Profit or Not-For-Profit?

Choosing the Right Model for Social Impact


Social enterprises can come in two main formats: non-profits or socially responsible for-profits. How do you know which is the right one for your idea and/or to maximize social impact?

Selecting a for-profit model has benefits for funding and scale, but non-profits are often perceived with more objectivity and stronger commitment to social impact. For-profits have shareholders, while non-profits have stakeholders.

This session will present a Social Enterprise spectrum that includes non-profits, for-profits, and several variations in-between, followed by an interactive discussion of the pros and cons of each.

The conversation will be most relevant to aspiring or early-stage social entrepreneurs who have an idea but who are not yet sure what is the best approach for implementation.


Entrance to offices is just to the left of REI. Take elevator to the third floor.
Suzi Sosa is the Founder and President of the MPOWER Foundation, a non-profit operating foundation dedicated to the empowerment of the underserved. Suzi is passionate about social entrepreneurship and social capitalism and seeks opportunities to harness the speed, scale, and creativity of the private sector with the compassion, transparency, and stakeholder models of the non-profit world. Her background in is international development economics, and she has a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. She co-teaches Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas and is a Judge for the Dell Social Innovation Competition. She is a founder of RISE.