“Some of the most talented people are being drawn to it [social finance and social enterprise]. We are appealing to peoples’ sense of social obligation and of social mission.
“About a fifth of recent Harvard Business School graduates have been drawn to social enterprise type organisations.”
The social enterprise field is, of course, already populated with hugely inspirational and talented people. Like all industries though, it will only continue to be as good as the talent it is able to attract, develop and retain.
Social enterprises need to offer the career prospects, development opportunities and salaries that compete with other top employers, not only during a recession, but also once the big private and public sector guns start hiring again.
Managing a social enterprise is a difficult undertaking. It requires not only solid commercial skills but also well-honed social sector know-how. Developing leaders who spend significant amounts of time in social enterprise from an early age, who know and can manage the tensions, quirks and intricacies that are unique to these organisations has to be a priority for the sector.
Neglecting to develop the next generation of talent risks social enterprise delivering on its promise; bringing in the best and brightest minds will mean that innovations like the social impact bond will be but the first steps towards a brighter, fairer and more inclusive economy.