4 Alternative Business Structures for Social Entrepreneurs

WeBC June 28, 2018
blond woman walking in the sun

Sole proprietorships, general partnerships and corporations aren’t your only options when you’re considering the right structure for your business.

If you’re exploring social entrepreneurship, you may have heard of Co-operatives, Community Contribution Companies (C3 or CCC), and Not-for-Profit Societies and Charities, but how do they differ and which one is right for you?

Read more to develop a basic understanding of each type and find out where you can learn more.

1. Co-operative

Co-operatives are businesses owned by a group of people that pool their resources together. BC Tree Fruits is an example of a local co-operative that includes over 430 grower families.

  • Interested in learning more? Connect with Co-operatives First. They are a not-for-profit organization that provides information about the cooperative model, relevant examples of successful co-ops, insight into governance, and more. They are based out of Saskatchewan, but they are mandated to support us here in BC.

2. Community Contribution Company (C3)

Ever heard of a C3 company? This is a new business model available in BC which is designed for businesses that generate profits while serving a social mission.

3. Not-for-profit (Society)

Not-for-profit organizations are known as Societies. They are usually formed to work toward solving a social problem. If your sole business goal is to work towards a social mission, then a non-profit society might be right for you. Women’s Enterprise Centre is a not-for-profit that helps women entrepreneurs!

4. Charity (Status)

Again, if your business has a social mission, you may want to consider becoming a registered charity. This business model has different benefits like being able to issue tax receipts and being eligible for tax rebates.

  • Learn more about obtaining charity status, and about the different charity structures, through Canada Revenue Agency.

Next Steps

Still unsure about which business structure is right for you? Contact us and we can provide advice and referrals.

About WeBC

WeBC is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women launch, lead and scale their own businesses. Our full range of services includes business loans up to $150K, business advice, skills training, mentoring, resources and a supportive community to help women entrepreneurs realize their business potential. Connect with us today for personalized support for your business!

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