Why is working for a social enterprise like being a tap-dancer?

Running a social enterprise in a market full of profit-focused competitors is like being the dancer Ginger Rogers, who – as they say – did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.

At Dot Dot Dot, we are in business in order to make worthwhile things happen in the world, rather than just to make money. We cover our costs through the work we deliver rather than through grants and that means that – even though our primary reason for existing isn’t the cash – we have to get the business side of things spot on, all the time.

Where our competitors are just offering a security solution for property owners, we’re using a similar model to secure buildings and at the same time to provide homes our residents enjoy and to support tens of thousands of hours of volunteering every year. Because we want to generate surplus funds for the aspects of our work which benefit society as a whole but which don’t pay the bills, we can’t be inefficient or error-prone. We literally can’t afford it – we need the money so we can spend it on achieving our mission.

So while some might imagine that social enterprises are less business-like than companies which are purely trying to make profits, our experience is that successful ones are exactly the opposite. In order to win work on commercial terms and deliver it to a high standard, whilst at the same time using that as a platform for social impact, it’s essential to absolutely nail all the conventional aspects of running an effective organisation.

And that’s why we’re looking for an exceptional finance manager and a marketing manager to join our team. The function of these roles will be to help us look after the bottom line and to draw attention to our work, as in equivalent roles in profit-focused businesses, but the outcome will be more homes for more people who do brilliant voluntary work.

All details of these roles are available here. Please spread the word!

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