10+ Best & Profitable Social Work Business Ideas [2023]

Author: Nick C headshot

Hello there, future entrepreneurs! Ever thought about how you can combine your passion for helping others with your entrepreneurial spirit? Well, you're in luck. As 2023 dawns on us, it brings with it a plethora of opportunities in the social work business sector that are not only profitable but also incredibly fulfilling.

Imagine waking up each day, knowing that your work is making a significant difference in someone's life. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? But, guess what? It's entirely possible! And we're here to guide you through it.

Whether you're a seasoned social worker looking for a change, or a budding entrepreneur searching for a venture that aligns with your values, this article is your treasure trove. We've compiled a list of over 10 of the best and most profitable social work business ideas for 2023.

So, are you ready to embark on an entrepreneurial journey that promises both financial rewards and the satisfaction of contributing to society? If your answer is a resounding "Yes," then read on, my friend. Let's dive into the world of social entrepreneurship together!

Business Ideas:

  • Case Management Services
  • Organizational Consulting
  • Individual, Family And Parent Counseling
  • Professional Development And Training
  • Advocacy And Community Outreach
  • Social Media Consulting
  • Mediation Services
  • Senior Care Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • Trauma-Informed Care Services

Our 10+ Best Social Work Business Examples:

1. case management services..

Case management services is a way of providing support, guidance, and resources to someone who needs special attention with a particular issue or situation. It can help individuals, families, and organizations manage their current or future needs. Case management services can cover a range of topics such as health, mental health, housing, employment, finance and more. It is an effective way to help people who are unable to take on the responsibility of managing their own wellbeing on their own.

  • Case management services can provide access to resources such as support groups, counseling and other services.
  • Case managers can offer assistance in navigating the complexities of paperwork and legal procedures relating to an individual’s specific situation.
  • Case managers are often case advocates and liaisons from government agencies or organizations.
  • Case management services can drastically reduce the time needed for case resolution as well as costs associated with it.
  • High-quality case management services will provide a customized approach tailored to the individual’s specific situation.

Form an LLC in your state!

business plans related to social work

2. Organizational Consulting.

Organizational consulting is a field of professional services that helps organizations become more efficient and effective. Common organizational consulting services include helping with organizational strategy, operational process improvement, personnel management, financial planning and analysis, mergers and acquisitions, project feasibility studies, and other performance related services. An organizational consultant can offer a variety of services to help businesses become more successful and make their goals achievable.

  • Assisting with strategy development
  • Improving operational processes
  • Assessment of personnel management strategies
  • Providing financial planning & analysis
  • Assisting with mergers & acquisitions
  • Conducting feasibility studies
  • Developing performance improvement plans

3. Individual, Family And Parent Counseling.

Individual, family and parent counseling is a type of counseling that focuses on providing support and guidance to individuals, families and parents. It can be used to help people work through difficult situations and develop new skills, strategies and perspectives. It can also be used to help people manage stress, improve their relationships, identify their goals and enhance communication. These counseling services can be offered in person or online, making it an ideal business concept.

  • Promotes mental health: Counseling offers a safe environment for individuals to work through issues which can help them cope more effectively with life’s challenges.
  • Helps build stronger relationships: Counselling sessions provide an opportunity for families to explore their dynamics and learn how to better communicate with each other.
  • Identifies weaknesses within family systems: Counseling sessions can help identify patterns of behavior within a family system that are contributing to issues or negative dynamics.
  • Provides problem-solving strategies: Counseling sessions provide an opportunity to develop strategies for problem solving and dealing with difficult emotions or situations.
  • Allows people to gain control over their lives: Counseling allows individuals to take control of their lives by helping them develop the skills they need to make healthier choices.

4. Professional Development And Training.

Professional development and training is a system or process of equipping and empowering employees with knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to do their jobs effectively. It is an important part of any business and is beneficial in many ways. Some of the benefits of professional development and training include:

  • Employee engagement
  • Improved customer service
  • Increased staff productivity
  • Reduced turnover rate
  • Enhanced job satisfaction

Professional development and training can be a great business idea as it encourages employee growth, motivation, and retention which in turn can help improve an organization's overall performance.

5. Advocacy And Community Outreach.

Advocacy and community outreach involve engaging with individuals and communities about their rights, needs, and interests. It is a way to promote social change and understanding between people. Advocacy and community outreach can be used to create awareness about an issue or to address inequities in access to resources. It can also be used to create networks of support for a cause or group of people.

  • It encourages organizational collaboration
  • It builds relationships between individuals and communities
  • It allows individuals to come together for the common good
  • It creates opportunities for systemic change
  • It promotes understanding and mutual respect

6. Social Media Consulting.

Social media consulting is a business that provides advice, guidance, and specialized management services to small businesses and individuals regarding utilizing social media platforms to meet their marketing, communications, and advertising goals. It is a great business idea for those who are experienced in marketing and who have knowledge of how to best leverage the capabilities of social media. Here are some benefits of starting this type of business:

  • You can help businesses engage current and potential customers
  • You can create a unique value proposition for potential clients
  • You will have the opportunity to stay ahead of emerging trends in the social media industry
  • You will gain valuable insights into how certain platforms work
  • You can develop personalized strategies based on data gathered from your clients

7. Mediation Services.

Mediation services are an invaluable tool in resolving conflicts between two or more parties. It is an impartial, cost-effective and time-efficient means of communication and problem-solving. A business offering mediation services can provide a valuable and beneficial service to clients. Here are some reasons why setting up a mediation services business could be a great idea:

  • Flexible working hours which allow you to work full or part-time
  • Minimal overhead costs due to the virtual nature of the services offered
  • Offer clients a useful and beneficial service that can resolve conflicts quicker than through traditional court proceedings
  • No need for expensive office space or staff as most mediation services take place virtually
  • Can provide a steady stream of income as the demand for mediators is constantly increasing.

8. Senior Care Services.

Senior care services provide support and assistance to elderly individuals with tasks such as errands, meals, transportation, and housekeeping. This type of business has the potential to become very profitable due to the increasing demand for these services. Some advantages of starting a senior care business include:

  • Ability to help those that need it
  • Low startup costs
  • Flexible hours
  • High earning potential
  • Potential for long-term contracts

9. Mental Health Services.

Mental health services encompass a wide range of different treatments, from counselling and therapy to prescribed medication and group support. Starting a mental health services business is a great way to make an impact on people's lives while also creating a profitable business. There are several reasons why starting a mental health services business is an appealing idea:

  • High Demand - Mental health issues are increasingly prominent in today's society, with more and more people seeking help for their mental health related issues.
  • Help Others - You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping others manage their mental health problems.
  • Employment Opportunity - Providing mental health services offers the opportunity to provide employment to those who need it most.
  • Flexibility - The hours of operation can be tailored according to your personal preferences and those of your clients.

10. Trauma-Informed Care Services.

Trauma-informed care services provide therapeutic and healing services to individuals who have experienced trauma and can be an important business idea. Trauma-informed care focuses on creating a safe and healing environment that recognizes the signs of trauma in those served and takes into account the impact of trauma on an individual’s overall wellbeing. Trauma-informed care services can offer a range of healing, therapeutic, and educational offerings such as:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Creative arts therapies
  • Trauma-informed yoga classes
  • Psychoeducational classes about self-care, coping strategies, self-awareness, and mindfulness practices

Successful Examples of Social Work Businesses:

Here are some of the most successful companies in the social work business industry:

  • Viridian Associates
  • At Your Service LLC
  • The Social Workers Company
  • Assisting Hands Home Care and Nursing Agency
  • Social Justice Solutions International
  • Social Work Consultants, Inc.
  • Reaching Out Community Services Inc.
  • Alpha Social Services, Ltd.
  • Expert Community Solutions Group
  • CareBridge Community Support Services, Inc.

Other Related Social Work Business Ideas:

Business ideas in other states:.

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.

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10 skilled social work business ideas to capitalize on entrepreneurial growth.

Updated by: Business First Family June 7, 2022 in Business

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business plans related to social work

There are various social work business ideas to start in 2022. Typically, social enterprise ideas arise from a desire to address social needs such as environmental, economic and community profitability. In fact, many companies are trying to merge business acumen and innovation to create permanent social change advancements. As an aspiring social work business owner, there are several powerful roles that can provide positive change to communities around the world. Read on to learn about the different social work business ideas you can start in 2022.

Types Of Social Work Business Ideas

School counseling.

You can find a career in social work as a school counselor. First, you must obtain a four-year undergraduate degree and a master’s in social work, psychology or counseling to start a counseling business . Once qualified and hired, you can start working with children in an educational environment. For example, you can help students maintain and improve their mental health. Plus, you can collaborate with children who live with social or developmental disabilities and teach them how to be comfortable with themselves. More so, you will be able to help students stuck in abusive living environments and help raise their overall well-being. Certainly, become a school counselor and improve the lives of students living in difficult situations.

Energy Consulting

Of course, open an energy consulting company as your social work business in 2022. Starting an energy consulting business can help clients make positive energy-based decisions. First, administer an energy audit for all clients and their properties, including single-family homes or large data centers. Then, provide an in-depth report that offers specific recommendations to reduce energy-based consumption. As a result, your clients can determine ways to conserve energy and improve efficiency, such as solar panels, energy-efficient space heaters or geothermal systems. Additionally, consider providing clients with information about possible tax incentives for financing alternative energy systems. Definitely think about open a social work energy consulting business.

Next, consider opening a bookmobile as your social work business. This career allows you to provide the gift of reading to areas and communities who have limited access to libraries. Of course, fund your business with a bookmobile grant program. Here, you can receive up to $3,000 to purchase books. Or, solicit donations of used and new books from friends, family or kind benefactors. More so, you can start a crowdfunding account to raise funds to purchase a vehicle. Then, you can travel to poverty-stricken, impoverished and deprived communities to provide educational entertainment for the townspeople. Certainly, contemplate starting a bookmobile as your social work business idea.

Nursing Home Social Worker

Another social work business idea includes working in a nursing home. This position allows you to advocate and care for each patient’s well-being. Of course, you will be protecting the elderly residents against neglect, abuse and mistreatment. In fact, you are in charge of ensuring that all their needs are being met with personalized senior home care services by the nursing home facility. For example, you can help nursing home residents manage their psychosocial, mental and emotional needs. More so, you can help the patient’s family with all medical, financial and emotional decisions relating to their loved one. Certainly, consider opening a nursing home social work business to care for the elderly and their families.

business plans related to social work

Social Supermarket

Furthermore, you can start a social supermarket business. Open a store that caters to several social needs. Consider selling items that were purchased at meager prices to low-income families. For example, you can sell dented cans or products near their expiration date. Plus, consider partnering with local producers. As a result, your social supermarket reduces transportation and energy consumption to produce sustainable food production. Of course, you can also sell organic foods and products that are created in an ethical manner such as animal treatment, environmental sustainability and workers’ welfare. Definitely open a supermarket business to contribute to the social work industry.

A Closer Look Into The Social Work Industry

Whether you are just considering enrolling in an online masters in social work or you’re already enrolled at a well-known school such as Rutgers Online it’s important to start thinking about what you want to do with your education. Perhaps you want to open your own business and are wondering if your online social work masters will help you bootstrap your venture. Here’s a closer look at social work businesses.

Job Outlook

One of the main concerns for social work students is, of course, job outlook. Social workers’ job outlook is at a record high. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 19% growth in social work until 2022. This is a much better statistic than other similar areas. This is important to note when considering whether or not to open a social work business for yourself after graduation.

School Social Work

While many boards may have their own social workers, others might not. You can open your own business that focuses on school aged children. It will be your job as a school social worker to work with that child and to also be their liaison between the student and their parents/family. You will also ensure that their needs are met in school if there are any special classes or help required like getting to career fairs . At any given moment, you could be working with a number of students at once.

Family Support Worker

In this career, you won’t just be helping a child you will be helping the entire family by offering support. It could be that the family is just going through a temporary problem, or the issues could be more long-term. The goal is that you offer emotional support to all the family members and practical help with issues such as homelessness, domestic abuse, and more.

For this position, you need to be able to work not just with kids but also with adults, being able to speak with them, understand them, and communicate in a way that is helpful.

business plans related to social work

Community Outreach Program

Another option is to run a community outreach program , or to head up one. These can be non-profit businesses that impact thousands of people. While many think these programs exist only in large cities the fact of the matter is that they can be found all over the country. In this position, you will be the main source of contact for the volunteers who work there and the organizer of the program.

Your duties will be to help get the word out about the program through fundraising events, gather up a donor list, train the other volunteers, and create non profit management strategies for future and current media campaigns. This is ideal for the person who wants to use their social work degree but at the same time has an interest in business and marketing.

Support Center

For those who are really ambitious, you may want to look into opening your own family support center. If you are the one operating the center then your role will take on more of a management position , similar to running an outreach center. You’ll need to create a marketing plan, find donors and sponsors, provide training, hire staff, etc.

A community support center is a not-for-profit center that helps the people in the community by providing a wide variety of services and programs, like social media security lectures or similar. Instead of running one you may wish to work at one taking the role of a support worker instead.

The Doors are Open

Once you obtain your masters in social work you will find a variety of doors will be opened for you giving you a chance to have a very rewarding career or business. Depending on your interests, choose a path that is right for you. Owning a pizza franchise may be a better fit for you. Of course, with the right team, you could have a very financially and socially rewarding business.

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10 Best Social Work Business Ideas

Social Work Business Ideas

It’s crucial to understand the area of social work before looking at the best and highest-paying social work business ideas and careers. In general, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to work in this industry, with most states needing a master’s degree as well. However, a few states allow for the completion of an associate’s degree in social work.

It’s crucial to understand the field of social work before looking at the top & highest paying social work positions. To work in this area, you’ll typically require a bachelor’s degree, with most states needing a master’s degree. However, an associate’s degree in social work is available in a few states.

What Private Social Work entrepreneur Ideas we have and Their Practices?

Some social workers start their independent practice instead of working for a managed care company, a health care organization, or another established institution. Private practitioners’ services extend far beyond their offices, according to the National Association of Social Workers, because they’re frequently hired by schools, courts, primary care centers, and other clinical groups.

Starting private social work business ideas, depending on your professional interests and career ambitions, could allow you to make a significant difference in the lives of numerous people in your community.

What are the Advantages of Building a Private Social Work Business?

For existing professionals and prospective students, pursuing a career as a clinical social worker in solo or group practice has several advantages. Private practitioners, for example, have more flexibility in their work schedules than those in traditional settings. They can schedule their appointments, take vacations as needed, and develop a clientele that matches their lifestyle and practice region.

Independent social workers have more control over their work environment, including the ability to meet with clients in person or via video conference, as well as the chance to earn more money.

Starting a Social Work Practice: A Brief how-to Guide

Building social work business ideas necessitate determination, careful planning, and a wealth of professional expertise in the field. Clinical social workers must achieve three primary criteria before commencing private practice, according to the NASW :

  • Obtaining a master’s degree in social work from a recognized institution.
  • Working in a supervised, clinical setting for at least two years after graduation.
  • Obtaining a clinical license in the state in which the private practice will be located.

Private practitioners can begin setting up their businesses, filling out the relevant tax paperwork, and soliciting clients once all of the basic requirements have been satisfied. The following pointers can assist you in choosing from any of the social work business ideas:

  • Create a business plan
  • Apply for a National Provider Identification Number
  • Get a tax ID number
  • Buy professional liability insurance
  • Create patient forms and supervision standards
  • Market the practice
  • Determine service fees

Listed below are the great social work business ideas that have been carefully explained for you to choose from;

1.      School Counselors

This is one of the nicest social work business ideas to explore if you are qualified. Social professionals are frequently employed as school counselors. Their job is to work with children directly in all educational settings. Their mission is to ensure that students’ mental health and overall well-being are maintained or improved.

They frequently collaborate with children who have social or developmental disabilities, as well as children who live in abusive situations. A school counselor’s income is mostly determined by the educational institution, the sorts of students, and the geographic region. The national average, on the other hand, is $56,160. A master’s degree is required to work as a school counselor .

2.      Speech Pathologists

Speech pathologists’ job is to make sure that speech abnormalities are identified. They then devote time to developing individualized treatment strategies to help their patients improve their speech. Although speech pathologists typically work with children born with speech impairments such as a harelip, cleft palate, or stammer, they also work with stroke patients and others with brain injuries. You can expect to make roughly $73,970 as a speech pathologist, which is a significant increase since the last average was obtained in 2010.

To work as a speech pathologist, you’ll need a master’s degree and a variety of other qualifications. To become licensed, you must pass a national exam, spend a certain number of hours in a clinical setting under direct supervision, and have a certain amount of postgraduate experience. Here, the service business ideas have requirements that differ from one state to the next.

3.      The Social Work Teacher

As a professor, you can expect to make an average of $86,073 per year as a social work teacher. An assistant professor’s salary will be lower. As a result, it is the highest-paying social work job in the country. To be a professor, however, you must have at least a doctorate in the discipline, usually a Ph.D. Training does take a long time and entails a significant financial expenditure.

4.      The Healthcare Social Worker

Here is one of the nicest social work business ideas as it relates to care for people’s health and saving lives. You will assist groups and individuals in coping with the psychological and social elements of diseases and illnesses as a healthcare social worker. The average annual wage is $57,000. Although a BSW would suffice for this job, a master’s degree will undoubtedly increase your career and earning chances.

5.     Clean Energy

It’s no secret that sustainable energy is becoming increasingly popular as well as necessary. A clean energy startup can be a product or service that uses a green method for energy production, such as electric bicycles or solar panels. Developing concepts and putting your company plan into action will necessitate either clean energy understanding or the assistance of someone who does.

Nowadays, it is much easier to determine and reach out to your target audience because of services that  provide interested solar leads . These are people who are already looking into alternative energy and have a bigger chance to convert into customers. 

6.      The Medical Social Worker

Medical social workers are not the same as healthcare social workers. Your job is to act as a liaison between community services (such as treatment centers and homeless shelters) and their clients. This is another one of the great social work business ideas. Frequently, you will work in emergency rooms or on discharge wards. The average wage, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $53,400. When compared to the average social worker, this is a huge increase.

7.     The Clinical Social Worker

Clinical social workers must complete extensive training and pass a range of exams. They work in a variety of industries and organizations. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, their average compensation is $48,010, though this varies greatly depending on where they work. Substance abusers, for example, will earn about $3,000 less per year.

8.     Micro-lending Business

A micro-lending business lends small amounts of money to people who are unable to obtain loans from traditional lenders. Normally, this startup charges a high-interest rate to its customers in order to reduce the risk of a borrower defaulting on their loan. Micro-lending enterprises in underserved areas can assist give chances for communities to introduce much-needed resources to their local communities.

9.      The Community Program Administrator

Some social workers aspire to managerial positions, which can be obtained through community program administration. They will be in charge of social assistance initiatives or charitable organizations that cater to specific demographic groups. Your job here is to create and implement strategic initiatives, raise funding, manage staff, and keep a budget under control. You may expect to earn roughly $57,950 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is another of these very nice social work business ideas you won’t regret exploring.

10.  Charity App

Create a charity app to make donations more accessible. This might be a simple way to raise funds for charity, make donations, or meet a community need. Because the majority of individuals own smartphones, a charity app company can make it easier for charities to raise funds and support in order to aid those who need it most.

You might also need to check on some social media marketing strategies that could enhance or have a great influence on your niche of social work business ideas. Also, you can access and read about Return of Investment (ROI) in digital marketing .

Today’s social workers operate in a wide range of settings, including health care institutions, schools, government agencies, and charity organizations. Some clinical social workers prefer to go into private practice as their careers progress, allowing them to focus on the topics that are most important to them. However, before opening a private practice in social work, a person must first establish their credentials, earn the necessary certifications, and demonstrate skill in their practice area.

Check also: Ultimate Guide To Small Business Ideas

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What You Need to Start Your Own Social Work Private Practice

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Clinical social worker leads a group therapy session

Today’s social workers are employed in a variety of professional settings, from health care facilities and schools to government organizations and nonprofit groups. As their careers advance, some clinical social workers choose to enter private practice, allowing them to focus on issues they’re most passionate about. However, before someone can open a social work private practice, they first need to establish their credentials, obtain the right certifications and demonstrate expertise within their practice section.

One of the main qualifications is to obtain a Master’s in Social Work or another relevant degree, which is often a stepping stone for earning a clinical license. While non-clinical social workers can also become private practitioners, they usually have fewer options for their business than those with a background in mental health, psychotherapy and behavioral disorders. If you’re looking to start your own social work private practice, it’s important to understand which licenses are required, how to build a business plan and how to market your services.

What is social work private practice?

Instead of directly working for a managed care company, health care organization or some other established institution, some social workers start their own independent practice. As noted by the National Association of Social Workers, private practitioners’ services extend far beyond their offices, as they’re often contracted by schools, courts, primary care facilities and other clinical organizations. For-profit companies may also seek out clinical social workers to improve or supplement their employee assistance programs.

In most cases, however, independent social workers offer hands-on counseling and mental health support to the general public, which requires a clinical license. They work with adults, children and adolescents by providing individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, bereavement counseling and more. For those with a particular specialization, working independently offers more freedom to focus on specific mental health issues and at-risk populations. For example, clinical social workers with an interest in early childhood development may prioritize students with behavioral issues or family problems. Depending on your own professional interests and career goals, starting a private practice may allow you to make a real difference in the lives of countless people in your local community.

What are the advantages of building a private practice?

Pursuing a career as a clinical social worker in solo or group practice offers a variety of benefits for established professionals and aspiring students. For one, private practitioners tend to have more flexible work schedules compared to those in traditional settings. They can set their own appointments, take days off when needed and build a clientele base that fits into their lifestyle and practice section. Independent social workers also have more control over their work environment, giving them the freedom to meet with clients in person or through video conferencing. Alongside these benefits, the NASW also highlights three additional advantages of building a private practice:

  • Freedom from organizational limitations: Social workers employed in agency settings rarely have control over their work schedules or day-to-day responsibilities. Instead, they’re assigned specific duties and are under constant clinical supervision to ensure best practices are being upheld. Private practitioners are not constrained by these organizational processes, allowing them to budget time independently and prioritize tasks that they feel are important.
  • Ability to maintain clinical skills: As noted by the NASW, many clinical social workers take on administrative, research and education roles alongside their counseling work. This allows private practitioners to continuously enhance their clinical skills, explore new diagnosis and treatment techniques and remain relevant within their field. Working in a group practice also opens up opportunities for peer-to-peer workshops and greater collaboration, ensuring all clinical social workers are held accountable for the level of service they deliver.
  • Opportunity to increase earning potential: Social work private practice is a great way to increase one’s earning potential, as independent professionals are able to set their own rates. Rather than being paid a pre-negotiated salary, private practitioners can build a clientele base that matches their desired work/life balance or compensation goals. Clinical social workers employed in an agency setting sometimes enter private practice on a part-time basis just to increase their personal income and open up more job opportunities, per the NASW.

While working as an independent social worker may sound like a dream job, it does come with quite a few challenges. Since private practitioners tend to work independently, filling this role can be very isolating. This is one reason the NASW recommends independent clinical social workers join a network of private practices or bring on a consultant for part-time support.

Starting a private practice: A brief how-to guide

Building a social work private practice requires determination, careful planning and a great deal of professional experience within the field. According to the NASW, clinical social workers must meet three main criteria before starting a private practice, including:

  • Earning a master’s degree in social work from an accredited university
  • Performing at least two years of post-graduate work in a supervised, clinical setting
  • Obtaining a clinical license in the state where the private practice will be established

These requirements tend to vary between states, so it’s important to check with relevant state licensure boards to understand what’s expected. Keep in mind that while social work private practices are clinical in nature, they’re also businesses, which must run efficiently to remain open. For this reason, the NASW recommends clinical social workers enroll in a basic course or workshop to familiarize themselves with key business skills, concepts and practices. Alternatively, aspiring social workers can also hire a management company to help with the business side of their practices.

Once all the basic requirements have been met, private practitioners can start setting up their business, filling out the necessary tax documentations and seeking out clients. The NASW offers the following tips for building a private practice from the ground up:

Step 1: Establish a business plan

The first step to starting a private practice is to create a detailed business plan that outlines the goals, strategies and financial needs of the organization. This document will be essential for obtaining a business loan from a bank or government-backed lender, according to the Small Business Association. When developing a business plan, clinical social workers will need to choose between a traditional or lean startup approach.

  • Traditional business plans: These more comprehensive business plans are typically packed with information, including a lengthy company description, market research, financial projections and funding requirements. Private practitioners will need to explain their services, target customers, expected financial performance and marketing strategies in extraordinary detail.
  • Lean startup business plans: This more streamlined business plan format can be useful for starting a private practice quickly or when services are simple to explain. That said, clinical social workers in private practice will still need to break down their business’s value proposition, customers, finances and revenue streams to make a compelling case to lenders.

During the planning stage, it’s important to consider whether the practice will be a solo or group endeavor. While both models can be profitable, building a private practice with a team of licensed professionals offers a higher level of clinical supervision that can be valuable during the early days of a new practice. Once the business plan is fleshed out, the next step is to locate a physical office to serve as the primary hub of client and partner interactions. Some private practitioners choose to travel to clients’ homes instead of meeting in a dedicated office – though this is generally a matter of personal preference.

Step 2: Apply for a National Provider Identification Number

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, all mental health providers seeking compensation must obtain a National Provider Identification Number, known as an NPI. This unique identifier is assigned to clinical social workers who submit paper and digital claims, or receive cash payments. Private practitioners can request either an individual or group NPI by filling out a brief application through the National Plan & Provider Enumeration System or by calling the agency directly.

Step 3: Obtain a tax identification number

Like with any new company, starting a private practice requires business leaders to obtain a tax identification number from the federal government. The NASW recommends securing a TIN for the practice itself rather than lumping it in with personal finances. To receive one, business owners must complete IRS Form SS-4 and submit it to the Internal Revenue Service.

Step 4: Purchase professional liability insurance

Building a private practice comes with some degree of financial risk, which is why professional liability insurance is required in the U.S. The minimum amount of coverage needed tends to vary based on state regulations, insurance companies and the types of social work services being offered. For example, the NASW offers a minimum $1 million per lawsuit and $1 million for the policy year through its Assurance Program. Since private practitioners work in “high-risk situations,” it’s important to maintain coverage at all times to prevent policy gaps that may lead to severe financial losses.

Step 5: Create patient forms and supervision guidelines

After a new private practice’s financials have been sorted out, clinical social workers will need to create patient documents, internal processes and resource guides to support the administrative side of their business. New clients will need to fill out intake forms, release of information requests and other documents required under HIPAA before they can start treatment. For a complete list of HIPAA data privacy guidelines and other policy requirements, visit the NASW’s website .

Another key concern has to do with clinical supervision. Even in social work private practices that are owned and operated by a single professional, it’s important to have some level of oversight to ensure a consistent quality of service. According to the American Psychological Association, effective supervision is built on strong relationships between peers, modern assessment and feedback mechanisms and a willingness to improve one’s clinical skills. Private practitioners should work closely with social work networks, other clinical professionals or hire an outside consultant to discuss problematic cases and liability concerns.

Step 6: Market the practice

When building a private practice, it’s important to establish a referral process and formal marketing strategy to attract clients that need support in a particular practice section. While some clinical social workers rely on managed care companies and health care facilities to refer patients in need of mental health counseling, it’s recommended that private practitioners look outside these sourcing channels.

As noted by the NASW, successful marketing requires clinical social workers to explain who they are, what services they provide and why they are qualified to treat certain emotional disturbances, mental illnesses and other interpersonal issues. One of the best ways to reach potential clients is to create a web page to advertise and seek referrals. Third-party websites like Psychology Today can also help private practitioners expand their reach and connect with individuals who may not have considered physiotherapy before.

Step 7: Set service fees

The final step to starting a private practice is to set fees for one’s services. The NASW notes that clinical social workers should consider the economy, their geographical location, insurance company rates and prices set by other mental health providers before finalizing their payment structure. Fees should be set at an amount that is fair and reasonable for the average citizen. In some cases, private practitioners may choose to waive the fee for new patients or adjust their pricing structure for low-income clients. While it’s important to make clinical social work services affordable, independent practitioners must also consider the needs of the business and any contractual obligations from third-party agreements.

Start your journey to social work private practice with an MSW from the University of Nevada, Reno

If you’re interested in building a private practice or working as an independent social worker, the online Master’s of Social Work program at the University of Nevada, Reno can help prepare you for the journey. This unique MSW degree covers foundational and specialized topics in the social work field, allowing students to assemble the skills, knowledge and experience needed to become a clinical social worker. The program is structured around advanced generalist practice, allowing you to compete for a variety of clinical and non-clinical roles that align with your personal and professional interests.

Whether you have a background in social work or are looking to make a career change, the online MSW curriculum can provide the insight required to take on high-level roles in a variety of settings, from traditional agency environments to social work private practices. This versatility can help you develop essential leadership skills, empower others through communication and counselling, navigate diverse practice contexts and promote social and economic justice. Students with a bachelor’s in social work can join the advanced standing program, which can be completed in as few as 15 months. Non-BSW graduates transitioning to the social work field can enroll in the traditional program, which features foundational courses and a three-day residency at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

To learn more, explore our MSW degree page or contact an enrollment advisor today.

Recommended Reading:

Alternative Careers for Social Workers Outside the Traditional Work Setting

What Can I Do With a Master’s in Social Work?

National Association of Social Workers, Social Workers in Private Practice

National Association of Social Workers, Opening a New Private Practice

Small Business Association, Write your business plan

Department of Health & Human Services, Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule

National Association of Social Workers, HIPAA Help for Social Workers

American Psychological Association, Fostering successful clinical supervision

Psychology Today, Therapist Search


  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Accreditation

The social work education programs provided by the University of Nevada, Reno School of Social Work are accredited at the baccalaureate and master’s levels by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This indicates to the public and to potential employers that graduates meet the high professional standards established by CSWE in its Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). Please refer to  www.cswe.org  for a complete list of Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. The university’s MSW program has been accredited by CSWE since 1991.

  • Recognized as a National Tier 1 University by  U.S. News & World Report
  • Ranks among the top 150 national universities in research and development
  • R1 Carnegie Classification research institution

business plans related to social work

Social Enterprise Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

social enterprise business plan template

Social Enterprise Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their social enterprise businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a social enterprise business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your social enterprise business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a social enterprise business, or grow your existing social enterprise business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your social enterprise business in order to improve your chances of success. Your social enterprise business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Social Enterprise Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a social enterprise business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for social enterprise businesses.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Social Enterprise

If you want to start a social enterprise business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your social enterprise business plan template:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of social enterprise business you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a social enterprise business that you would like to grow, or are you operating social enterprise businesses in multiple markets?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the social enterprise industry. Discuss the type of social enterprise business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of social enterprise business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of social enterprise businesses:

  • Trading social enterprise : this type of social enterprise refers to cooperatives, collectives, and other organizations that are worker or employee-owned. This type of ownership structure allows a higher degree of economic resiliency compared to a traditional organization.
  • Financial social enterprise: this type of social enterprise includes credit unions, cooperative banks, and revolving loan funds, which are all membership-owned. In other words, the money deposited from a member is used to help other members who may need financial assistance.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charity social enterprise: this type of social enterprise businesses are usually created to support a specific social, environmental, or political goal. The profits are used to further the social or environmental aims of the organization or to provide salaries for people who provide free services to specific groups of people.

In addition to explaining the type of social enterprise business you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, number of positive reviews, reaching X amount of clients served, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the social enterprise industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the social enterprise industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your social enterprise business plan:

  • How big is the social enterprise industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your social enterprise business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your social enterprise business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments:non-profits, individuals, social causes, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of social enterprise business you operate. Clearly, social causes would respond to different marketing promotions than individuals needing financial assistance, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other social enterprise companies. 

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes social enterprise companies such as brand awareness companies, community organizations, government programs, etc.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other social enterprises with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be social enterprise businesses located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What clients or causes do they serve?
  • What type of social enterprise company are they?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide social enterprise services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will your social enterprise business help more people in need?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a social enterprise business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of social enterprise company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to social enterprise services, will you provide access to funding, marketing, counseling, and/or brand awareness, and any other services?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your social enterprise company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your social enterprise business located near an office complex, a university, an urban setting, or a busy neighborhood, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your social enterprise marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Website and SEO marketing
  • Community events
  • Commercials
  • Social media marketing
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your social enterprise business, including communicating with clients, marketing, accounting, accounts payable, fundraising, and searching for grant opportunities.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to obtain your XXth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your social enterprise business to a new location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your social enterprise business’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company. 

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing social enterprises. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a social enterprise business or are connected to a wide network of professional organizations that frequently tend to donate to various causes.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you take on one new service at a time or multiple services ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your social enterprise business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. 

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a social enterprise business:

  • Cost of social enterprise services
  • Cost of overhead, marketing, and outreach
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your social enterprise outline of services, types of customer and/or cause you will be targeting, and the areas your social enterprise business will serve.

Putting together a business plan for your social enterprise business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the social enterprise industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful social enterprise business.

Social Enterprise Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my social enterprise business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Social Enterprise Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of social enterprise business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a social enterprise business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of social enterprise businesses?

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Writing your first business plan

Wh y do you need a business plan .

A business plan will help you to clarify your idea, identify challenges and allow you to monitor the progress you’re making. Your business plan is not a static document, it is something you should revisit and update as your organisation grows.

” A goal without a plan is just a wish” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Putting pen to paper

Writing a business plan may seem daunting, but you’ll probably find that writing down your idea will bring clarity and focus to what you are looking to achieve as a social entrepreneur.

Your business plan should demonstrate that your idea is well thought through and sustainable in the long-term. As a start-up you will find that funders, investors and stakeholders will request to see your business plan. Once you have your plan on paper it will be quick for you to pull together the information requested by funders or investors.

“The best business plans are straightforward documents that spell out the who, what, where, why, and how much.” Paula Nelson

What to include in your business plan

When you are writing your first business plan you should aim to answer the following questions:

  • What is your idea?

What are you offering to your beneficiaries and customers? This is sometimes referred to as ‘value proposition.’

  • Who are your customers?

Who is going to buy your product or service?

  • Who are your beneficiaries?

Who will benefit from what you’re doing? For a social organisation your beneficiaries and customers may be different groups, so it’s important to think about what you are offering to each of them.

  • How will you promote your organisation?

How will you market yourself to customers and beneficiaries? Now you know who they are, how do you plan to reach them?

  • Who else is doing something similar?

Who are your competitors? How does your organisation differ? Take time to think about what they do well and learn from them, it’s unlikely your idea has never been done before so use others experience as a tool for learning.

  • Steps to achieve your goals.

What do you need to do to achieve your objectives? Breaking down things into step by step actions will make your idea seem more achievable, it will also prevent you from getting distracted.

  • What resources do you need?

What resources you will need to make this happen – people, premises, materials? Try to be realistic. When you are first starting out you might be able to beg, steal and borrow but if you want to become sustainable you need to be realistic about the resources you need.

  • How much money will you have coming in?

What are people willing to pay for your services? Be realistic with how many sales you are likely to make and try to base this on evidence where possible.

  • How much money will you have going out?

Once you know what resources you require, you need to work out how much will they cost you. The cost of people, equipment and premises all need to be accounted for.

  • How much money will you have left over?

Will you break-even or have a profit? If you have a profit what you will do with it? You might not make a profit in your first year but you need to have an idea of when and how you will become financially sustainable.

How to structure your business plan

Once you’ve written your first business plan ask for feedback, then listen to the feedback you’ve receive. Be open to constructive comments and willing to add detail where it is needed.

Don’t forget to review your business plan regularly (don’t lock it away in a drawer!) Use your business plan to monitor your progress and keep you working towards your goals:

Further learning

  • Learn to Build a Better Business Plan
  • The Social Business Model Canvas

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Social Work Agencies: Adopt the Business Model at Your Peril

Nonprofit Business Model

Nonprofit Business Model

by Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, MSW, and Jennifer R. Zelnick, MSW, ScD

     What is changing in your workplace? Do you have less time for the people you work with, new requirements for reporting, less time with your supervisor? Has your job changed from a full-time staff position to fee-for-service? If so, you may be experiencing the effects of a trend toward using the business model (or, “managerialism”) in U.S. human service agencies. Our new study, recently published online in the journal Social Work , reports on this troubling trend.

     As professors of social work in New York City, we developed an anonymous online survey in collaboration with five major organizations, including the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. More than 3,200 NYC human service workers responded – making the survey the largest of its kind to date in a major U.S. city. Given the large response, the many unsolicited comments, and the diversity of frontline respondents, we knew we had hit a nerve.  

     Respondents were 80% women and nearly 50% people of color. They worked for both nonprofit and public sector organizations and different types of agencies, including health, mental health, child welfare, substance use, and homelessness. Whereas other studies have focused on social welfare programs and client outcomes, few have drawn, as our study does, on the voices and experiences of frontline workers.

     Regardless of agency focus or worker demographics, respondents reported many problems with managerialism. They identified pressure to be more productive (e.g., “getting more done in the same amount of time”), accountable (e.g., “too much reliance on quantifiable performance measures”), and efficient (e.g., “need to increase numbers of people seen”). Respondents were especially troubled by the focus on performance outcomes versus outcomes most important to clients, and the routinization of practice that eroded the trust in the client-worker relationships. Some felt they were providing “cookie cutter services.”

What difference does it make?

     We found that managerialism in human service agencies profoundly affects service delivery and the well-being of workers. Using a “commitment to managerialism” scale we created, we learned that the greater an agency’s commitment to managerialism, the more problems workers reported about client access to services and workers’ abilities to fully respond to complex client needs.

     Equally troubling was the impact on the workers themselves. The greater the commitment to managerialism, the more burnout, ethical dilemmas, and turnover reported. High quality services depend on the capacities and engagement of workers; that social workers in this study reported less job satisfaction, retention, and staff well-being places high quality services at risk.

     Despite these difficult outcomes, workers believed that their work made important contributions to society. The study also identified a path forward: agencies reporting low commitment to the business model did much better -- workers and managers in these agencies reported a higher commitment to social work’s mission, fewer workforce issues, and better service delivery. 

     Most human service agencies seek to deliver high quality services. Most social workers prefer to work efficiently and to account for their successes. At the same time, we uncovered a serious tension between the logic of the market (the business model) and the logic of social work (our values and mission). This study challenges our profession to pay more attention to the voices of the human service workforce and to mobilize the profession to critique the business model. Social workers can further strengthen trusting relationships with clients and fight for services that promote quality care, social justice, and social change.

Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, MSW, is Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy, Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College. CUNY, and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy from Colonial Times to the Present .

Jennifer Zelnick, MSW, ScD, is Professor and Social Welfare Policy Chair, Touro College Graduate School of Social Work. She holds an MSW in community organizing and planning, and a doctorate in public health. Her work focuses on the health and well-being of health and human service workers in the U.S. and South Africa.

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Social Enterprise Business Plan

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A social enterprise is an activity of a nonprofit that employs entrepreneurial, market-driven strategies for earned income in support of its mission. This outline for a social enterprise business plan is a guide for research, planning, and writing a business plan for nonprofit social enterprises.

A social enterprise is an activity of a nonprofit that employs entrepreneurial, market-driven strategies for earned income in support of their mission. Business plans are a common tool for entrepreneurs when starting or growing a business enterprise. For nonprofits that are starting or growing a social enterprise as a part of their program activities, developing a business plan is an essential step. While social enterprise business plans address all of the questions needed for any business, nonprofits also need to consider the alignment with mission, organizational background and structure, and evaluation of both financial and social impact.

This outline for a business plan is a guide for research, planning, and writing a business plan for nonprofit social enterprises. The sections below are provided as a roadmap for the plan. Most business plans include each of these sections, though the length and amount of detail will vary depending on the nature of the enterprise, the complexity of the organization, and the purpose and audience for the plan.

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary provides the most important information for readers that need to understand and support the concept but not necessarily know the detailed plans. This is usually written last.

  • Organizational description
  • Business concept
  • Market description
  • Value proposition, or competitive advantage
  • Key success factors
  • Financial highlights and capital requirements

A social enterprise of a nonprofit organization may contribute directly to achieving mission; may be complementary or supportive of mission; or may be unrelated to mission (with primarily financial goals). The alignment to mission is a critical question.

  • Organization mission and/or vision statement
  • Relationship of social enterprise to organizational mission, or separate mission for the enterprise

Background and Structure

This section summarizes the organization’s history and programs and how the enterprise will fit in to the larger organization.

Most social enterprises operate as an activity or program within the nonprofit, though some are legally structured as a separate nonprofit, a for-profit subsidiary, or an independent organization.

Form should follow function and the legal structure should support the purpose and activities of the enterprise. Advice from an expert attorney may be needed.

  • Brief description of the nonprofit, including context and programs
  • How the business venture will be structured in the organization
  • Legal structure and governance (Boards, advisory committees, reporting)

Market Analysis

The market analysis is the heart of the business plan and is too often inadequately explored when planning a social enterprise. Solid research is necessary to understand the target customers and how the enterprise will meet a gap and demand in the market. No amount of mission or commitment will overcome a deficiency in market knowledge and a bona fide demand for the product or service.

  • Summary of current market situation
  • Target market and customers
  • Customer characteristics, unmet demands and buying factors

Competitive Analysis

This section describes the competitors, both nonprofit and for-profit, and the value proposition, or market advantage, of the proposed business.

  • Primary competitors
  • Competitive products/services
  • Risks and opportunities in competitive market
  • Recent or emerging changes in the industry
  • Specific description of competitive advantage/value of proposed product or service


This section is a summary of the product or service that will meet the demand in the market. It does not need to include detailed descriptions, price lists or other materials.

  • Product/service description
  • Positioning of products/services
  • Future products/services

Marketing and Sales

This section will describe how the organization will reach the target market and turn those prospects into paying customer.

  • Marketing strategy
  • Sales tactics
  • Advertising, public relation, and promotions
  • Summary of sales forecasts

This is the “how to” section, describing the creation and delivery of the business’ product or service.

  • Management structure
  • Staffing plan and key personnel – if this includes programmatic elements related to the mission, expand this section
  • Production plan or service delivery, including summary of costs of materials and production
  • Customer service/support strategy and plan
  • Facilities required, including specialized equipment or improvements. If the business is retail, discuss location characteristics

Evaluation and Assessment

Most for-profit businesses measure their success by the financial results. Social enterprises have a double bottom line (or a triple bottom line.) This section describes the factors that will be evaluated to assess the success of each aspect of the enterprise.

  • Quantifiable financial goals
  • Quantifiable mission goals
  • Monitoring and evaluation strategy

Financial Plan and Projections

The financial section includes projections for revenue and expenses for at least three years with a summary narrative of the key assumptions. This section also details the start up costs for capital equipment, inventory, initial marketing and staffing, and subsidy needed to cover losses during the start up period. These capital requirements may be funded from a combination of contribution from the nonprofit, grants for the enterprise, and/or debt financing.

  • Start up costs and investments in equipment, technology, or one time costs
  • Capital requirements and sources
  • Income and expense projection
  • Pro forma balance sheet for start up
  • Cash flow summary or projection
  • Assumptions and comments

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Corporate Social Responsibility Is Why Businesses Need to Hire Social Workers

corporate social responsibility

Today, the increasing importance of corporate social responsibility means private sector employer demand for social workers is increasing. Businesses have good reason to hire social workers, and a growing number of them are in need of positions to be filled.

In this article, we’ll discuss corporate social responsibility and the ways in which social workers contribute to business.

The Rise of Corporate Social Responsibility

Much of the increase in social workers’ employment at private sector firms corresponds to the rise in corporate social responsibility (CSR), efforts that companies undertake to make a positive social impact and act in an ethical manner. 

Corporate responsibility dates back to the early 20th century, but accelerated around 1971 when the concept of the “social contract” between the corporate world and society at-large was formally declared by the Committee for Economic Development.  

Since businesses function with the “consent” of the general public, the theory goes, business is obligated to serve the needs of society. 

This ideal dovetails with the key principles of the social work profession.  According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), “the primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and the empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty….”

Some examples of high-profile private sector organizations with well-established CSR programs include:

  • PayPal “GIVE Teams” take part in worldwide community-based non-profit groups to improve the communities where they live and work
  • Hormel Foods is committed to creating a culture of inclusion and diversity in its global workforce
  • Microsoft has donated more than $500 million to address homelessness

Associations dedicated to corporate responsibility—such as “Brands Taking Stands” and “Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose”—have formed to help companies compare their experiences in this area.

Corporate social responsibility is, today, considered essential to companies’ profit margins. Some of this is driven, in turn, by consumers’ and employees’ preferences.

Recent surveys indicate ( source ):

  • 63% of U.S. consumers say they look for companies to take a leadership role in social and environmental justice issues
  • 87% of consumers would make a purchase based on a company’s advocacy
  • 90% of millennials would take a cut in pay for the opportunity to work for a company with shared values

Carrying out a corporate social responsibility plan translates into increased customer loyalty or job satisfaction for employees, which adds to a company’s bottom line or increased productivity.

The Varied Roles of the Social Worker

Corporate social workers take on many roles, including some of the following:

  • Managing Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corporate Officers
  • Life Management
  • Human Resources

Companies often find that social workers’ training in social justice issues make them the right fit for carrying out their CSR plans. As a result, many larger firms will hire a director or manager of corporate social responsibility.   

Having a social worker at a high level in a corporation, with social workers as corporate officers, could have helped some large, prominent companies avoid the scandals that have plagued them in recent years, and could have prevented the accompanying bad press.  Today, firms are learning that lesson.

Some companies are hiring social workers for nontraditional roles.

Wells Fargo Bank has hired social workers to focus on life management issues, such as the financial challenges associated with aging. Google has hired a social worker to review privacy and user policies.

Other tasks that a social worker can help carry out include conducting community needs assessments, which will help a company decide which philanthropic activities would be most beneficial to the area in which it is located.  

As the appetite for corporate volunteerism increases, the role of social workers becomes more essential.  They can help assess the key needs—and deficiencies—of the community, and see where those needs align with the values of the company.

corporate social responsibility human resources

The Transition from Social Work to Human Resources

Trained social workers have skills that are easily transferable to the corporate world; this is especially true in the area of human resources. Why do human resources professionals with degrees in social work succeed?  The reasons are many.

  • Since social workers often study diversity and inclusion, they might be better prepared to help a company hire a workforce that reflects the diversity of society at large
  • Since social workers are often trained in providing therapy, they could be best suited to deal with harassment or discrimination claims
  • Additionally, as social workers are adept at understanding relationships, interpersonal dynamics and human behavior, they can coach workplace groups to increase productivity and fulfill short- and long-term objectives

Social workers are also skilled at helping companies manage change— for example, helping navigate the challenges that arise when a merger between two companies, with two different cultures, takes place. 

Social workers are trained in the concept of systems theory and, further, to recognize how small changes in one part of a system creates alterations in other parts of the system.

Companies are increasingly aware that, to have a financially healthy organization, their workforce likewise must be healthy. Many companies hire occupational social workers to help make workplaces safer and help employees find work-life balance.

To an increasing degree, occupational social workers help formulate employee assistance programs (EAP) that offer assessments, counseling, and referrals to workers who have challenges at work or in their personal lives, and to identify and address “stressors.”

Studies conducted in 2009 found that three-quarters of U.S. organizations had some form of EAP for their workers.

More recent EAP services offered by company-hired social workers include crisis management, training and education on mental health problems, elder and childcare issues. They also help employees deal with substance abuse, domestic violence, divorce or military deployments.

Other tasks carried out by social workers include so-called “360-degree evaluations,” which enable individual workers to receive feedback from co-workers, superiors and clients.

Through 360-degree evaluations, employees can see where their skills and behaviors align with the goals and values of the corporation.

Social workers may be called upon to evaluate the organization as a whole, carrying out a systematic overview of the company’s work environment, processes, problem-management and organizational structure.

corporate social responsibility future trends

Future Trends for Corporate Social Work

The demand for social workers in the economy as a whole is anticipated to grow.  Last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted growth of nearly 11% in the field by 2028.

As the workplace undergoes continued changes, prospects for future employment in the field are bright.

The consulting firm McKinsey reports that, with the rise of automation over the coming decades, people with social skills and emotional capabilities will be in ever higher demand. Some jobs will inevitably be given over to computers and robotics.  However, counselors—including people with MSWs—will be difficult to replace.

corporate social responsibility prepare career

How to Prepare for Your Career in Corporate Social Work

If you find yourself drawn to a career where you can help affect change at the individual level and in society as a whole, yet have an interest in entering the corporate world, the profession of social work could be your calling.  In the past, these two goals might have been in conflict; that’s no longer the case.  

Graduates from Florida State’s online MSW program are poised to pursue a variety of career choices, including corporate social work. Prepare for a rewarding career where you can further developments at the personal and organizational level. MSW students can also pursue a social work certificate in Leadership in Executive and Administrative Development ( LEAD ) to gain additional skills, along with their degree. 

Read another blog about how giving back impacts wellbeing .

Download My MSW Online Program Guide

FSU Student Dana Pina

Read more of FSU online's top Master of Social Work blogs below:

  • What Are the Different Kinds of Social Work Jobs?
  • MSW Degree Program: What Should I Expect?
  • Social Worker Burnout: 8 Self-Care Tips
  • Social Work Professional Development: What's the Value for My Career?
  • Davis, K. “Why Companies Need to Hire Social Workers.” Fast Company, 19 June 2018, Retrieved from www.fastcompany.com/40582642/why-companies-need-to-hire-social-workers . 
  • Macias, J. “Why Private Companies Are Taking on Social Workers.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 Oct. 2014, Retrieved from www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/oct/06/private-companies-so... .
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: A Brief History, Retrieved from www.accprof.org/ACCP/ACCP/About_the_Field/Blogs/Blog_Pages/Corporate-Soc... .
  • “Social Workers: Occupational Outlook Handbook:” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Retrieved from www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm . 
  • Lorenz, B.O. (2015). The Experiences of Social Workers in Corporate America. Retrieved from     Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/msw_papers/484
  • “Interview with Mary Pender Greene, LCSW on Corporate Social Work.” Online MSW Programs: A Comprehensive Directory of Accredited MSW Degrees, Retrieved from www.onlinemswprograms.com/resources/social-work-interviews/social-work-c... .
  • Wood, M. “25 Of the World's Most Socially Responsible Companies.” Fundera Ledger, Fundera, 16 Aug. 2019, Retrieved from www.fundera.com/blog/corporate-social-responsibility .
  • “2018 News and Highlights.” 3BL Forum, www.3blforum.com/news/2018-news .
  • Lasuertmer, David. Best MSW Programs, 7 Dec. 2017, www.bestmswprograms.com/highest-paying-careers-in-social-work/ . 
  • Elsey, W. “Why Your Company Should Be More Socially Responsible.” Forbes, 30 May 2018, Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinessdevelopmentcouncil/2018/05/30...

Planning for ASWB’s future

Message from the ceo.

photograph of Dwight Hymans

Gloria Steinem wrote: “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” Earlier this month, the ASWB Board of Directors and ASWB leadership planned and dreamed for ASWB’s future at the Board Advance! Many participants said they were proud of the work we did. I felt the same at witnessing and contributing to the thoughtful and energetic discussion that day. ( See related story on strategic planning. )

As a group, we knew that the future we were planning would be carried out by new leadership. President-elect Roxroy Reid of New Mexico will be serving in the role of president for the two-year duration of the new strategic plan, and I will be entering a planned retirement on May 1, 2022, when a new CEO will be assuming leadership of ASWB. I am excited to shepherd the new strategic plan into existence because the goals and objectives generated during the Advance! address so many of the recent challenges of the past year’s racial reckoning and social justice movement. I don’t want to foreshadow too much about the plan because it is still incubating; however, I will say that my successor will have a clear roadmap for ASWB’s future; a strong, capable staff; and an engaged and supportive Board of Directors.

For those who are surprised to learn of my plans, I want to emphasize that the Board of Directors knew of my intended retirement date when they hired me. I was candid during the interview process in 2019 that I would be willing to serve as CEO for two years. I signed a two-year employment contract, which ends April 30, 2022.

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. — Gloria Steinem

Given the tumult of 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruption to businesses and lives, I am glad I had the trust of the Board and staff and 13 years of experience with ASWB as a foundation on which to begin my term as CEO. I believe that my history with ASWB prepared me to guide the organization through the challenges of the last 18 months. It has been rewarding to see how well staff adjusted to remote work settings and continued to provide services to members and stakeholders. That speaks to the professionalism of our staff members, the inclusive culture that senior leadership has worked hard to create, and the support of our Board. I am proud to see so much of the 2019–2021 Strategic Framework’s initiatives operationalized because of the commitment of ASWB managers to develop and follow through on their business plans.

As we move forward, we need to bring with us the themes that members identified in their responses to the strategic planning survey: exam bias, ASWB’s role in the greater DEI conversation, ASWB’s leadership role in communities we serve, and strengthening business operations and staff support. These are issues requiring a committed, fully present leader. In the remaining eight months of my tenure as CEO, I will continue to lead this organization as if retirement was not in my future. ASWB deserves no less.

The transition to PSI test centers has begun. Test-takers who register for the exam beginning November 1, 2023, will be testing with PSI.

business plans related to social work

  • Business/Finance

25 Best Business Ideas for Social Workers to Make Money

There are indeed business ideas for Social workers to make money.

This article reveals 25 of the very best such Social workers business ideas for making money.

Table of Contents

Each of us has a unique personality.

Our personalities are formed based on our environment, upbringing, experiences, genetics, etc.

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Some of us are outgoing and some of us are introverted.

Some of us are energetic while some of us are less than energetic.

Some of us are aggressive and some of us are passive.

The list goes on and on and the beauty of each of these different personalities is that separately we are on our own but together, similar to the different parts of the body, we each serve a function and have a role to play.

Another major difference between individuals is that some of us like to be independent and feel that we are on our own and we need to make it ourselves in this world.

On the other, some individuals are extremely sympathetic and empathetic and with those characteristics involve themselves in the lives of others.

This involvement is done on a personal as well as a professional level.

One of those individual professions that are engaged in helping others is the social service worker.

Being a social service worker can be a draining process and perhaps there comes a time when other business opportunities will be explored.

Let us help those individuals and be involved with their lives by looking at other business ideas for social workers to make money.

25 Best Business Ideas for Social Workers 

1. what is a social worker.

The social worker is a committed and caring professional who has the educational qualifications and the experience to significantly interact with others in their community to be equal to the social challenges that those individuals are facing.

The specific segment of the population that these dedicated professionals interact with and assist practically includes seniors, families, children, etc.

The practical advice and expertise offered by the social workers to these individuals are in the areas of addiction, individuals discharged from hospitals, abusive relationships, etc.

The social worker will do case management, assess the situation, and then either help the individual themselves or link them to other community resources.

2. Consultant

As an experienced social service worker, a good business opportunity would be in the area of being a consultant.

Owning a consulting business would allow you to utilize your social service acumen and experience but instead of helping specific individuals, your role would be to help other social service agencies or agencies.

You would be invited to review processes, interact with social service workers, assess the morale of the organization or department, review the work of the social service professionals, etc.

Upon the completion of your consultation, you would provide a written report and not only report your findings but offer any practical assistance to help strengthen all areas of the services provided.

Another business opportunity that might present itself to you as a professional involved in the provision of social services to others and their community would be to author a book about your involvement.

The focus of your book could be on your journey as a social services professional and could be somewhat autobiographical but also provide insight to peers on handling certain situations.

Also, you could sprinkle case studies or instances that occurred in your professional life.

Of course, anonymity would be paramount, or get permission, but you could speak in generalities.

4. Teaching

As a social worker and possibly having an advanced degree, you can also be a teacher.

Your teaching, if you hold a Masters’s degree in social work, could be as a lecturer or part-time professor in the area of teaching social work.

This teaching could be done in a physical classroom setting or you can teach others through technology with the online process.

5. Hospital

A business idea that incorporates a change of social services environment or roles is by becoming a social services worker at a hospital.

A social service worker in a hospital concentrates more on providing practical assistance and insight to patients who have been discharged from the hospital.

Part of that practical assistance would include providing to the discharged patients a practical support group to be discharged to if the individual is homeless arrangements at a shelter or residential home is made available for that individual, ensuring certain medical equipment is provided, etc.

6. Victim Services

A rewarding business idea for a social worker would be to interact with traumatized victims of crime.

There are many types of crimes that are perpetrated upon businesses and in particular people.

When an individual is involved with a criminal, there can be severe physical trauma but also severe emotional and mental trauma.

As a social worker, you can be involved with these individuals to not only help them to sort through this horrific experience but also provide practical assistance.

For example, if a woman is battered you can interact with her and her children and be of assistance in any way to possibly reduce the traumatic effects of the experience.

As a practical aspect of your role, you could help the woman in transitioning to a battered women’s shelter and continually follow up with her if the shelter did not have access to a social services worker.

Also, you could take up the role of tutoring and can tutor others who are taking social services classes.

One such website that you can register at is  TutorMe .

You can also help students progress to become certified social workers and obtain their licenses, such as the ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) exam

You could provide tutoring services.

8. Police Work

You could contract with the city or the police department in providing your service to victims of crime.

This would be a demanding job as crime does not keep regular business hours.

In working with the city police department, you would be on call and would be engaged with a victim of crime to help them work through the trauma initially and on an ongoing basis until such time that the individual was able to obtain long-term care.

A possibility for funding for the city to provide to you for your service could be part of the Crimes Stoppers Fund.

9. Bookmobile

Your commitment as a social services worker is to increase the quality of life of your clients and customers.

One particular area of helping individuals move on from any particular negative lifestyle that they are wrapped up in or relationships that are destructive is through knowledge.

A possibility of helping individuals work through these issues and providing them with knowledge is through the provision of books.

A potential business enterprise to be involved with that brings into play your social services experience in education is the service of providing a bookmobile.

Some grants can be obtained to start this bookmobile enterprise as well as soliciting help from the community through financial donations and the donation of used and new books.

It is the old concept of giving a person a fish and they will eat it that day but teach them how to fish and they will eat it for a lifetime.

So it is with educating individuals to remove themselves from situations and understand the destructiveness of addictions and relationships that they find themselves in.

10. Nursing Home Social Worker

A much-needed social work business today as it relates to our aging population is being a nursing home social worker.

This critical role as an advocate for seniors would concern itself with the patient’s medical, social, emotional, and physical care.

By being a nursing home social worker, you would take on the role within the nursing home facility of ensuring that the residents were provided for and be an advocate for that individual not only with the institution and the system but with their families as well.

business plans related to social work

11. School Social Work

Upon receiving your undergraduate degree and then moving on to obtaining your Masters in social work, psychology, or counseling, you can begin to provide the service of school counseling.

Being a school counselor you can work with young people throughout the educational system.

Through your work and insight, you can help the students maintain their mental health and assist them with any social or developmental disabilities that they may have or any abusive living environment that they may be subjected to.

12. Legal Witness

In the court system, often expert witnesses are called to provide testimony as it relates to their profession and being an authority in that area.

You could provide to the legal system and specifically defense lawyers as well as prosecuting attorneys your expertise by serving as an expert witness.

For example, if there was a particular situation within a family’s home involving children and whether the home life was conducive to the upbringing of those children, you could be called upon to provide a professional assessment and then take the witness stand and offer your expert evaluation.

For more information, you can log onto this  site .

13. Professional Blogger

As a social services worker, you could provide a beneficial business service to your peers and other interested individuals by blogging.

Topics of discussion on your blog could include talking about case studies in generalities, the latest techniques as it relates to interacting with clients, new articles that have been published, etc.

Financial support could come from your followers, gaining a sponsor for your blogging site, or through affiliate advertising.

To set up your blog site you can use a website such as Bluehost.com.

Coupled with your flair for writing, you could self-publish an e-book that utilizes your experience, education, and your passion for your vocation.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

There are a variety of ways that you can approach the publication of this e-book in that you could share your story, what drew you into the field of social services, highlight some of the real-life cases you were involved with, and provide your vision as to what a social services worker should provide and do and their involvement in helping others both practically and professionally.

The book can be written from the perspective of being an academic or can be a real-life narrative on the actions and interactions of your experience as a social service worker with others.

15. Website

You could develop a website that could be a significant resource for your peers.

The website could provide several resources such as links to recent studies related to social work and case studies, books that have been recently published, new thinking in the social services profession, etc.

You could also provide interesting podcasts as you interview other professionals that provide a distinct perspective that would be helpful to the listener.

To earn money off of this website you could provide a subscription service that would allow the subscriber access to other resources as well as additional interviews that are related to the podcast but go into greater depth.

Also See: Business Ideas for Lazy Person &  Business Ideas With a Van .

16. Speaker

If your caseload can be defined as interesting and you have a good command of your native language as well as a stage presence you could become a circuit speaker.

Many would find what you have to say very interesting and could be a good draw for an audience both from the social services profession as well as interested individuals.

The events that you could speak at could be local events at various associations as well as advertising yourself to speak at conventions or national association events

Also, community colleges look for speakers to be a guest lecturer at various classes that are held.

17. Software

If you happen to have an added dimension to your life, such as the ability to create a software program, then a good business idea would be the development of a social services app.

The app could be practical and provide sound advice based on your education and experience for different scenarios and how the individual can handle the situation.

Also, the app can be educational as it can delve into the social actions of individuals, perhaps the reasons why addiction occurs, involvement with abusive relationships, etc.

If you do not have the acumen to create this software you could collaborate with a developer who could help in the process.

Money could be earned by providing the app through a subscription that people can take advantage of every month.

18. Teaching Software

As a social services worker, you are keenly aware of maintaining good records and capturing your professional notes as it relates to interaction with your clients.

If you are proficient at a certain type of social services software, you could be in the business of teaching others about this software and helping them to fully utilize its features and functionality.

Also, if certain modifications would be conducive to the current software, perhaps you can develop your own social services software and market that software to social service workers.

19. Contract

Financial records need to be audited why not provide the service of auditing social services files?

It is always a good idea to invite an outside professional into a department to review the various processes and procedures that take place in a department.

The social services department is no different.

Your auditing process could involve pulling a sampling of the records, ensuring that the notes are being captured properly, that the client’s file is up to date, and that a plan of action is in place and is being followed.

20. Private Practice

A business opportunity that presents itself that utilizes your credentialing as a social service worker would be the operation or starting your private practice.

To begin this process it would be best to have a Masters’s social work degree or be a licensed clinical social worker.

You would go through a business plan and go through all the business steps to start your business but would be a great way to utilize your skills and ability to help others and interact with them.

The benefits would include setting your schedule, working for yourself, specializing in a certain area of social work, and other benefits.

To learn more about this possibility you can click  here .

21. Corporate Social Worker

Corporations are beginning to see more and more the value of human resources.

They are realizing that human resources are more than just about job descriptions, evaluations, benefits, etc.

Corporations are realizing that in dealing in working with people it’s about change management, diversity, inclusion, corporate social responsibility, etc.

Therefore, a non-traditional job that seems to be emerging is the corporate social worker.

In addition to addressing all of the above components, as it relates to the working environment, the corporate social worker can also interact with the employees on a personal level and help them to work through various personal issues that they may be experiencing.

This can be a valuable asset and role played by you as it can help to minimize loss of productivity on the job by the employee, address mental health issues, etc.

22. Online Courses

As it relates to teaching any subject, the formal classroom has its place.

However, sometimes there is a disconnect between the mental or academic aspect of teaching any particular subject and the practical implications in comparison to working in any particular field of endeavor.

With that in mind, perhaps you could develop online courses that build on the academics but concentrate more on the practicalities of being a social service worker.

For example, when helping an individual in an abusive situation, what would you as a social service worker do if confronted by this abusive individual?

What are the practical implications, what are the steps that need to be followed in the heat of the moment, how would you defuse the situation, etc.?

This could be the focus of online courses that you could develop and offer at a charge to interested social service workers.

23. YouTube

Another way that you can make a business that builds on your social services experience and education is by developing a YouTube channel.

You could delve into social service work, the education required to be a social service worker, provide insights that are practical as it relates to the professional role, do interviews, etc.

Monetary support may be realized through your followers as well as possibly gaining a sponsor for the site and taking advantage of affiliate advertising.

24. Life Coach

A life coach is an individual who provides inspirational and practical advice to people on how they can become more fulfilled and happier by making a few adjustments in their lifestyle.

Not to minimize either role but it seems like there are some significant parallels and similarities as it relates to being a life coach and a social service worker.

As a social service worker, you could bring your knowledge and practical understanding of addictive behaviors, insight into an individual and their feelings of self-worth, and other aspects of human nature and bring that to bear in being a life coach for an individual or individuals.

25. Support Center

The social service worker provides meaningful support and practical assistance.

The social service worker is there for their clients when things get tough and the client has nowhere else to turn.

You are there for others but who is there for you?

Where does the social service worker go when they need to de-stress, have their batteries re-charged, or confide in someone as it relates to their profession and interaction with others?

As a caring social service business, you can provide this professional and empathetic support through an app or by connecting with other professionals through other technical means.

Personal Story

Before retiring, my last job with the not-for-profit that I worked with was as a business manager.

My primary role was to help provide oversight to all of the programs that we were all involved in with our commitment to helping others in our community.

One of our programs was a transitional living program for 20 military veterans and 20 nonmilitary individuals.

The purpose of the program was to provide lodging and all of the essentials to live for up to a year while they followed a plan of action.

Their plan of action includes getting their GED, furthering their education, looking for a job, and once employed gaining permanent housing.

On staff, we had two social workers who met with the transitional living residents every week and went over their plan of action to ensure that they were meeting their milestones and on track to successfully graduate from the program.

The social workers would listen intently to the individuals, challenge them as necessary and provide the needed tools and assistance so that they could be successful.

As part of the process, extensive notes were part of their file so that they could be referred to and would capture the conversations that occurred.

As part of the requirements of the funding, we were required to have social workers that had certain credentials.

Neither of our social workers had the credentialing so the backup plan was to hire a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

This further educated and credentialed clinician would come in every week and review the case files and also interact with particular cases that were proving to be challenging.

Social Work Entrepreneur Ideas FAQs

What are the three basic things that a social service worker tries to do in an individual’s life.

The three basic objectives of a social service worker when interacting with a client include:

  • Promote good mental health
  • Strengthen relationships
  • End the cycles of abuse and trauma experienced.

What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Role of the Social Service Worker?

Some of those interesting facts include:

  • Social service workers provide the majority of America’s mental health services
  • The job is not a typical 9 to 5 job
  • Hard decisions are required
  • There are both male and female social workers
  • The demand for social workers is still high

You Can Do It

As a social service worker, your profession is a noble one.

You have devoted your energy to the service of others and helping them to sort out various pitfalls and activities that we as human beings get mired into.

As a social service worker, there are many business opportunities that you can cross over into other occupational roles as well as staying within your field and have a different job function.

In either case, you are focused, energized, and know what it takes based on your interaction with others and learning from their experience as well as your own.

We are all different and that is the value and variety of living life in this world.

Each of us comes with our own unique set of personality traits and often, our career path is dictated by those traits.

As a social service worker, perhaps it is time for change and yet you still need to be true to who you are.

There are a variety of other ways that you can express who you are as a social services worker but use that dedication and commitment in other business areas.

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  • Entrepreneurship

12 New Social Entrepreneurship Ideas for 2022

Chris Beer

Idea To Income

How to start a company and turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality, in this article, what is social entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship statistics, triple bottom line, how to start a social entrepreneurship cause , strive for b corp status or be a leader in your industry, social entrepreneurship ideas.

Every idea starts with someone looking to solve a prroblem.

For the founders of Warby Parker, the problem was the high cost of prescription glasses. Looking at the industry, they found that the eyewear was dominated by a single company, keeping prices inflated. 

In 2010, Warby Parker was founded as a way to create an alternative retail channel. They also saw another problem.

They realized that billions of people around the world needed glasses but didn’t have access to them (2.5 billion people, to be specific). Of these, 624 million cannot effectively learn or work due to the severity of their visual impairment.

Warby Parker launched a program called “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair was and still is distributed to someone in need.

Today, over five million pairs of glasses have been distributed through their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.

This is just one example of how companies and organizations around the world are solving problems for the greater good — something called social entrepreneurship. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at:

  • what social entrepreneurship is
  • how social entrepreneurship works and its increasing relevancy 
  • explore specific social entrepreneurship ideas 
  • help you find out if this industry is right for you

Let’s get started! 

Social Entrepreneur definition

Social entrepreneurship is a buzzy word, so let’s break down the concept. 

By definition, a social entrepreneur is a person or group interested in starting a business for greater social good — not just the pursuit of profits. 

While earning a profit is top of mind for many entrepreneurs , social entrepreneurship ideas are unique in that they combine the foundations of best business practices with a desire to make a positive impact on the world.

There are three types of social entrepreneurship causes: for profit, not for profit and hybrid. 

Let’s break down the nuances of each model. 

A for-profit company has the flexibility to bring in investors, who in turn are rewarded with a share of the revenue. However, they are not able to receive donations or grants . 

There is no limit on a for-profit company’s ability to generate revenue by providing goods and services , and all for-profit companies must pay taxes. 

Not for Profit

There are various kinds of not for profits, but the most common is one that seeks tax-exempt status through Section 501(c)(3) . 

These types of organizations are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations . 

If you’re looking to create this type of organization, you would want to consider this model if your business is operating in a field with significant opportunities for grants, such as education or healthcare. 

As the name suggests, this model has limitations with regards to revenue. 

All of the money made must go back into the organization — there is no "profit sharing" among members. If there is, the organization will risk losing its 501(c)(3) status. 

This model is a blend of the for-profit and not for profit structures. 

In this scenario, there are two related entities, for-profit and a not for profit, that serve one mission. 

Revenue from the for-profit flows to the not for profit as a way of funding its mission. 

This structure benefits flexible funding options (access to both grants and donations as well as individual investors) and no limit on revenue generation, as long as the sales take place under the for-profit umbrella. 

The structure can be complicated but it is advantageous to many social entrepreneurs due to the flexibility it allows. 

One falsehood that may keep entrepreneurs from putting social entrepreneurship ideas into action is the thought that social entrepreneurs don’t make enough money to keep their programs sustainable. 

Here’s the reality: consumers actually prioritize the ethos of a company over price, according to a survey from SAP. 

Here are a few more statistics showing how popular social entrepreneurship products are, according to CauseArtist .

Social entrepreneurship statistics

When done right, social entrepreneurship can be a sustainable effort.

In essence, social entrepreneurship ideas are rooted in the “ Triple Bottom Line ” model — going beyond the traditional measures of profits, return on investment, and shareholder value to include environmental and social dimensions.

Triple Bottom Line was a concept coined by serial entrepreneur John Elkington, citing that a balance sheet should extend beyond dollars, with a focus on three key components: 

Let’s look at the “3 P’s” – People, Planet and Profit – and three examples of companies that incorporate these principles into their business models.

People: Causebox  

Social entrepreneurs think about the impact their business has on the people around them: 

  • their employees 
  • their suppliers 
  • their consumers
  • he greater community

The founders of Causebox took the concept of subscription boxes and chose to make an impact with their choice of suppliers. 

The quarterly shipments include six to eight socially conscious products for women — in categories such as:

  • apparel and jewelry
  • beauty products

Each company gives back in its own way, ranging from artisan impact and empowerment programs to radically sustainable skincare formulations. 

Beyond supporting the suppliers with their purchases, Causebox strives to create a connection by including information on who made their product, the story of why that person made their product and what inspired them to start their company.

Planet: Method Home  

These are companies that make an effort to reduce or eliminate their ecological footprint. 

With a tagline of “people against dirty,” Method Home is in business to change business. 

How are they doing that? Method makes cleaning products that use non-toxic ingredients. 

With a focus on sustainability, the company utilizes recycled plastic in its packaging. 

In addition to the product, Method’s corporate headquarters was designed with its mission in mind. 

Three solar tracking trees are utilized in the parking lot and the company has its own 230-foot wind turbine. 

The “green roof” serves as the planting ground for urban agriculture company Gotham Greens. 

These eco-friendly choices are also friendly to Method’s bottom line, serving as ways to reduce fixed costs and generate ancillary income.

Profit: Leesa Mattress  

While every business aims to turn a profit, Triple Bottom Businesses view profits as an engine for their greater giving. 

Many companies, like Leesa Mattress, tie a purchase with the promise of giving products to those in need. 

Combining People, Planet, and Profit, Leesa has three philanthropic pillars: 

  • giving one mattress for every ten sold
  • planting one tree for every mattress sold
  • devoting resources to national and local organizations

Since 2014, Leesa has donated 35,000 mattresses to over 1,000 nonprofits and has committed to planting one million trees by 2025. 

They also give staff paid time off to volunteer at local food banks, shelters, and charities.

Social entrepreneurship is not a one-size-fits-all idea. 

No matter the size or focus of your company, you can build a profitable business that makes a tremendous impact and changes lives for the better. 

Do You Have The Passion?

Social entrepreneurship ideas: successfull social entrepreneurship causes are rooted in a passion for solving a problem

Successful social entrepreneurship causes are rooted in a passion for solving a problem. 

So how do you develop that passion? 

How can you take a different approach to solving that problem? 

Understand The Problem

The first step is to understand what the problem is that you’d like to help solve. 

  • Travel the world  
  • Ask people about their passions 
  • Be open to new experiences and new ways of thinking

After that, take time to understand the community that you aim to help and tailor your approach to the unique needs of the situation. 

Create The Idea 

After identifying your passion, brainstorm about specific, actionable things that you can do to solve the problem. 

If you still can’t identify a problem you are passionate about solving, here are social entrepreneurship ideas that you can explore. 

12 Social Entrepreneurship Ideas

12 Social Entrepreneurship Ideas

Business Plan

Once your social entrepreneurship ideas list is refined and you know what you want to do, the next step is creating a business plan that includes the following:

  • your company description (what you do and how you differ from the competition) 
  • a market analysis (snapshot of current competitors) 
  • financial projections
  • marketing plan

Prepare yourself for the grind of running a business. The reality is that there will be days that are filled with excitement and positive momentum, and there will be days that require patience and determination. 

Keep going and don’t lose focus on the passion that brought you to the business. 

The next step after choosing a social entrepreneurship plan is to focus on funding. You may need to get creative with how you raise money. 

Not for Profit Business Model 

Crowdfunding sites, such as Kickstarter , Fundable , and GoFundMe , have been a popular tools in turning a vision into reality, especially when the mission of the business resonates with the beliefs of the funding community. 

Aside from the financial benefits of these crowdfunding sites, you will reap other rewards while pitching your concept. You’ll build brand awareness, gauge demand, gather feedback and build a following. 

Due to the guidelines of the Kickstarter and Fundable platforms, you’ll also be prompted to make a cohesive business plan, set goals and tap into your social network in order to turn on the green light for your project. 

When building your pitch, clearly state your mission and how you’ll accomplish it. As a social entrepreneur , in a financial sense, your business is no different than any other for-profit business. 

You want to define a problem, show your solution and demonstrate how you will structure a sustainable business around it. 

Hybrid Business Model 

If part of your plan involves partnering with a nonprofit organization as a beneficiary, do your homework before forging an alliance. Ask questions like :

  • How will my company’s contributions be used?
  • What are your organization’s operating costs?
  • Where does most of your funding come from? What percentage of your budget comes from private donations, and what do private donations help you to do that your other sources of funding don’t cover?
  • What are your most urgent needs?
  • What would make the greatest difference in helping your organization get better at what it does?

For Profit Business Model 

It’s important to note that in order to create a sustainable impact, your business needs to be profitable. 

Your business is designed to generate profits, but to do it ethically.

Social entrepreneurship ideas: the greater your profits, the larger your pool of resources to make an impact

The greater your profits, the larger your pool of resources to make an impact. 

When building your profit margins, make sure to leave wiggle room to incorporate the budget to fund your social impact goals without pricing yourself out of the market. 

Be mindful of your competitors and their pricing . 

As mentioned in the earlier study, consumers are more socially aware than ever before and will pay a little more to support a company that aligns with their ethos.

Starting your own social entrepreneurship cause

Once you have your social entrepreneurship ideas up and running, you can shift your focus to a new goal: earning a B Corp Certification . 

Founded in 2006 as a tool to help mission-driven companies protect and improve their positive impact over time, B.Lab has emerged as the gold star status in the world of socially conscious businesses. 

B Lab is the nonprofit that certifies B Corporations, and they use a Triple Bottom Line framework for their B Impact Assessment. 

You may have seen the “B” logo brandished as a badge of honor on marketing materials for:

  • New Belgium Brewing

How do businesses attain B Corp status? 

Based on the size and complexity of the organization, the process takes between 1-3 months and costs between $500-$1,000. 

The assessment takes place through an online questionnaire that takes about an hour to complete. 

The B Lab rating system evaluates how companies create value for their employees, clients, the local community and the environment. 

The certification is good for one year, at which point the company needs to reapply for the status. 

How do you know if your business is eligible for B Corp status? 

Earning a B Corp certificate is open to for-profit companies. 

Your business can apply for B Corp certification whether it’s organized as a:

  • partnership 
  • a limited liability company (LLC)
  • incorporated as a traditional C corporation

And if you do get certified, your underlying legal business structure remains the same. 

Startups can't earn B Corp status until they have been in business 12 months but they can apply for a certification-pending seal.

While going through the B Corp certification process is important for visibility, but it’s not the most important part of building a socially responsible business. 

If your social entrepreneurship cause isn’t for profit, instead strive to be the industry leader in exceeding expectations in impact and standards. 

You can use your business to be the driving force behind creating change around the world. You just need a social entrepreneurship idea.

Aside from the day to day activities , the business plan, meetings and more, the most important part of being a social entrepreneur is truly believing in the mission of your business, which stems back to the problem you and your organization are passionately trying to solve. 

So what is your passion? 

And what problem are you t rying to solve? 

About The Author

Chris Beer

WealthFit Contributor

The Founder of B.Well Consulting, Chris Beer has a diverse background that is rooted in finance, driven by data, grounded by giving, fueled by entrepreneurial passion and made possible by hard work and grit. 

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7 elements of international trade strategies.

Aerial view cargo ship terminal, Unloading crane of cargo ship terminal, Aerial view industrial port with containers and container ship.

Published: November 23, 2023

Learn how to develop the right regional and local plans to improve your international trade strategy and create long-lasting business opportunities.

International trade is the backbone of a strong global economy. Having international trading partners helps open a country’s businesses to new markets, including U.S. companies looking to  take their business global . In fact, U.S. exports accounted for about  11% of the country’s GDP  in 2023 as of Q3, and the International Trade Association (ITA) indicates that as of 2021,  9 million domestic jobs  were supported by U.S. exports.

The potential impacts of  international trade  on business growth is staggering. Companies that have yet to embark on an international business strategy have plenty of reason to do so, even if there are several critical questions that have to be answered first. Understanding how to find the right market, develop the right regional and local plans, and familiarize oneself with the legal implications of international trade are but a few of the many questions every business owner should consider when devising their international trade strategy.

How to Put Together an International Trade Game Plan

Coming up with an international trade strategy can be a significant undertaking for a business of any size. Developing one for a small business poses its own unique challenges, as it can be harder for these companies to get brand recognition overseas, navigate complex regulations, and divert resources to a dedicated team of local consultants.

To improve chances of success, any global strategy for trade should first consider focusing on seven key concepts:

1. Have a Strong Product Offering

The right product can make a massive difference when it comes to capitalizing on trade opportunities abroad. Any successful plan for international trade should start with a high-quality, unique product that also resonates with the cultural nuances and preferences of the target market. While copying what is already available on the market may seem like an easy in, it can be challenging for newcomers to carve out space – especially if existing businesses and overseas manufacturers have the incumbent advantage. To stand out and gain traction, opt for a unique offering that will meet the needs and cultural sensibilities of your international customers.

To stand out and gain traction, opt for a unique offering that will meet the needs and cultural sensibilities of your international customers.

2. Be Sure There’s a Market Opportunity

Having a strong offering is one thing. But is there a market opportunity in your target location? To make sure your efforts are directed toward a genuine and profitable market need, it may be necessary to build a global strategy based on extensive  market research . To gain valuable insights into your target market, consider utilizing tools like a  SWOT analysis  (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and a PEST analysis (political, economic, social, technological), as well as conducting primary research through surveys and focus groups. Digital platforms and market research databases can also give a glimpse into product demand and emerging trends. Small businesses should be prepared to dive deeply into the nuances of market opportunity, size up both international and domestic competitors, assess product demand, and, ultimately, develop a  unique business proposition .

3. Work Out Supply Chain Logistics

Supply chain considerations such as management and logistics take on increased importance when entering into global trade. Whether you’re exporting goods directly from the U.S. or instructing overseas manufacturers to deliver goods to new geographic locales, consider building a robust supply chain with as few weaknesses as possible – one that’s diverse and flexible. Leveraging  multiple suppliers,  for instance, can help safeguard operations against potential disruptions like geopolitical events, natural disasters, or even supplier-specific issues. In addition, try to make sure that any current partners can support steady shipments to international clients and outposts. If you don’t and your business begins to gain traction in its new location, they may struggle to fill early orders.

4. Comply With International Law

Legal considerations for international trade are multifaceted and may involve three different sets of rules and regulations: domestic laws in a country’s home base, laws in the destination country, and international laws governing global trade. Compliance with all three of these sets of standards requires not only steadfast adherence to guidelines but also a proactive approach to keep up with frequent changes – otherwise, your business could run into pitfalls such as inadvertently violating intellectual property rights, running afoul of import/export restrictions, or misinterpreting contractual terms in a foreign legal context. Hiring local assistance in the country you plan to export to can help you get real-time guidance and ensure that you’re abreast of local nuances and legal shifts.

5. Form Strategic Partnerships

When expanding internationally, understanding local cultural dynamics can be as crucial as knowing the market. These dynamics can influence consumer preferences,  business etiquette , negotiation styles, and even regulatory adherence. Forging strategic partnerships with local businesses or consultants can offer valuable insights into these cultural nuances. Whether you plan to establish offices in other countries or simply want to expand where you do business, having a network of trustworthy local contacts can not only make an otherwise difficult process smoother, it can also ensure that your business practices resonate with local values and expectations. For example, good local partners can help guide your business through cultural ceremonies, introduce you to the right decision-makers, and advise on culturally appropriate marketing strategies, helping your business navigate and thrive in a brand-new cultural environment.

6. Leverage Government Resources

Try not to overlook federal and local resources that can help you with your international ambitions – they are plentiful. The ITA offers a  “how-to” guide to exporting , and  U.S. Export Assistance Centers  are available to teach small businesses about the exporting process. The U.S. Department of Commerce also puts together an annual  National Export Strategy report  that outlines what actions the government is taking to help businesses, including small businesses, compete globally and overcome barriers to trade. You can also check out the State International Development Organization’s  State Trade Directory  for localized assistance.

7. Hire the Right Talent

Any international trade strategy is only as strong as the team behind it. Your company’s staff should have clear, actionable guidance in order to successfully bring your business to new markets. Not only does this mean hiring individuals experienced in exports and cross-cultural communications, but it also emphasizes the need for continuous training, including cultural sensitivity sessions. These training sessions can help make sure your team has the tools to effectively interact with a diverse array of clients and collaborators. In turn, this can reduce misunderstandings and foster positive relationships.

The Bottom Line

Businesses looking to  expand into international markets  stand to benefit from diversified revenue streams and an increased market size, to say the least. But getting started can be a challenge. Although there are myriad factors that have to go into developing a robust, successful international trade strategy, paying careful attention to everything – from your product offering and destination market needs to compliance with international laws can make a major difference.

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41-year-old teacher’s ‘kitchen table’ side hustle brings in $10,400 a month: When I don’t work, ‘the sales still come in’


Eight years ago, kindergarten teacher Becky Powell was growing restless on maternity leave.

A friend suggested she use her son's naptime to make some extra cash, and pointed her toward an educational resource platform called Teachers Pay Teachers. There, Powell started making worksheets for her fellow teachers to buy and download, working largely from her couch or "kitchen table," she says.

Teachers Pay Teachers is an Etsy-style marketplace for educational worksheets, activities and lesson plans across just about every grade level and subject matter. Powell's store, called Sight Word Activities , specializes in teaching literacy to kindergarteners, first-graders and other young students.

At first, revenue was slow. But within a couple of weeks, Powell started earning enough to cover small bills around the house. After four months, she made enough to pay off her and her husband's monthly student loan payments.

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Over the years, the 10-hour-per-week gig became a six-figure hustle that Powell and her husband Jerome run together. Last year, Powell's Teachers Pay Teachers store brought in $125,500, or just over $10,400 per month, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It.

Her husband, a full-time computer engineer, manages another store on the platform called Editable Activities  that brings in roughly $50,000 per year.

"I have worksheets that I created eight years ago that still yield thousands [of dollars] in passive income every year," says Powell, 41, who lives in Beaverton, Oregon. "Even when I find myself not able to create ... the sales still come in."

Here's how Powell and her husband grew their side hustle, and what they're able to do with their extra cash.

Turning classroom materials into Disneyland trips

Powell's classroom is the perfect lab for her small business, she says. She can identify what concepts students struggle with, create worksheets as teaching aids and test-drive the ideas with her kindergarteners before selling them online.

"I call my students my clients," says Powell, with a laugh.

After Powell made $21,000 in her first year on Teachers Pay Teachers, she recruited Jerome — no relation to the chair of the Federal Reserve — to help her build a presence on the platform. Together, they focused her store around her knack for teaching children to sight-read.

He also showed her how to study the platform's searches, so she could see which worksheets were trending and integrate buzzy keywords into her profile, she says: "He'd always tell me, 'Do you know where the best place is to hide a dead body? On the third page of search results.'"

After seeing her success, Jerome launched his own Teachers Pay Teachers store selling customizable PDF worksheets in 2019, Powell says. The couple's tax consultant recommended they combine their businesses to form an S-Corp, which they did in 2021 — meaning their seller profiles remain separate, but the money all flows to the same place.

Some sellers on the platform only keep 50% of their sales. Powell and her husband are " premium sellers " who each pay an annual $59.95 subscription fee to keep 80% of their sales as profit. When teaching gets hectic, Powell scales back her side hustle work — ramping it up again during the summers to financially get ahead of the school year's unpredictability, she says.

Together, the couple uses their extra cash "for boring things, like paying down our mortgage. We also paid off our student loans," says Powell. "But we also took our [sons] to Disneyland, and the two of us went to Aruba. That's something we spent the money on to be frivolous."

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