Social enterprise goes by many names with as many definitions. Whether it is a social business, conscious capitalism, benefit corporations, or the fourth sector, they all share a common goal - to combine business with doing good.
A few definitions of commonly used terms:
Social Enterprise: Business exists to solve a social issue. Combines commercial and social goals, but with emphasis on a social mission.
Social Business: Combines commercial and social goals. The investment would lead to an equivalent increase in social impact.
Conscious Capitalism: Recognizing that every business has a purpose that includes, but is more than, making money. By focusing on its higher purpose, a business can create more value.
Benefit Corporation: For-profit corporate entity that includes is a positive impact on society, workers, the community, and the environment in addition to profit. (Can also receive a certification).
According to the Fourth Sector Group, in recent years there has been a convergence of movements, "Led by pioneers, innovators, and thought-leaders who have been challenging the status quo—reimagining finance, law, accounting, business, and philanthropy; rethinking the delivery of healthcare, education, and social services; reinventing products and industries, from agriculture and energy to apparel and transportation; and not least reconceiving the role of business in society and the fundamental purpose of the economy. These sympathetic movements have been instrumental in shaping the fourth sector and paving the road for its adoption and growth."
Some notable examples include:
Base of the Pyramid
Community Development Finance
Corporate Social Responsibility
Socially Responsible Investing