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Hi everyone. :)

I have an idea as to where I would like to work. But I'm not sure what it can be called. Ideally I'd love to work for a social enterprise, but the more I think of the kind of job I want to do, it seems to be a marriage between an NGO and social enterprise.
What I mean is: I want to work for an organisation that makes it income through goods and services and isn't donor-dependent. But at the same time my interests lie in education ( academic, health and rights), empowerment and development because I believe these are interdependent; and I would also like to "be in the field" and see this taking place, which is more along the lines of an NGO.

So what am I looking for? Should I go with an NGO or a social enterprise? Or is there such an organization that incorporates both.

I've been trying to answer these questions for myself for a while now, and I think I just need another perspective. If you have the time or anything you feel could be helpful, please do write.

Thank you :D
 

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I don't personally know enough about either of these things to be of much use, but I know that when I have a difficult time making a decision, I toss a coin, and how I feel about the outcome tells me which is right for me. The only difficulty with that is sometimes I feel equally happy/disappointed at each prospect. I hope you work it out.
 

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What you're asking about is called an ancillary business income. Lots of non-profits have them these days due to severe declines in both donations and grants because the economy is in the gutter. The US YWCAs are a pretty good example of this. Particularly on the east coast a lot of them are located in enormous buildings which they own, but the fact that they've made so many cut-backs in programs has resulted in a lot of that building space being completely unoccupied. Because of that, a lot of times they will rent out the remaining space to other organizations like Planned Parenthood or Americorps. Keep in mind that I am talking primarily about smaller, more individualized non-profits here. NGOs, those that work alongside governmental organizations like the UN, tend to do this to a much lesser extent because their work is more dedicated and has less room for expansion in terms of private income generation. They also have more oversight, rules, and requirements for transparency.

If I were you, I'd research organizations that work with what you want to do and see how they approach this. There are plenty of for-profit businesses which address a social need, but without the non-profit component, their primary interest is in making money and that sort of dampers any positive social impact because it usually means that the services are oriented towards those that can afford them. However, there are businesses which work with non-profits and NGOs to fill their needs, such as medical suppliers to the Red Cross.
 
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