Welcome to Afrilanthropy’s Knowledge Portal where you will find a selection of our favourite guides, toolkits and other material to help you launch or strengthen your own social business in Africa.
Building Your Social Enterprise.

Social Enterprise

A social enterprise refers to a business model that places the interests of people or the environment at the forefront of its organisational purpose. Moreover, it is a business that is directly involved in the sale of goods and/or services to a target market, while having a specific social objective aimed towards the improvement of social or environmental matters.

There in no single definition for social enterprise, however one that can be adopted is the UK Government definition of social enterprises, which states “Businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.”

Find below our favourite list of sources that will help you understand what social businesses entail:

Article containing a brief insight on social enterprise

Article by “The Telegraph” providing a detailed description of social enterprise

Document by the UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills providing insight on legal forms for social enterprise, as well as its definition, set up and other

Article on challenges faces by social enterprises in Africa

Article on Africa’s top 10 social entrepreneurs and their mission

Article on Social Entrepreneurship in Africa, its importance and examples

Book providing understanding on the theory and practice behind social enterprise

Document providing detailed description of the social enterprise market, benefits, purpose and other

Document expressing the governance of social enterprises, including mission drift and accountability challenges in hybrid organisations

Book containing explanation on the stakeholder involvement in social enterprise governance

Business Plan

A business plan describes your social business’s organisational, operational and financial structure that are directly linked to the overall purpose of the social business. It is a tool that allows for future planning, allocation of resources, marketplace identification and preparation for risks or opportunities that may arise at a later stage. It is a vital component for any social enterprise since it provides potential lenders and investors with a roadmap on how your business will operate, as well as how the goals and objectives will be achieved.

Business plans clarify the social business’s direction and future vision, help you attract financing and team members, as well as acts as a management tool to ensure the business is meeting its goals, sale targets and operational milestones.

Find below our favourite list of sources to help you build a strong and credible business plan for for your social enterprise in Africa:

A brief note on the importance of a business plan and what key aspects should be addressed

Selection of books on how to develop a business plan according to the type of business of interest

Books on how to develop a business plan according to the type of business of interest

Book that guides executives and entrepreneurs on how to plan efficiently and intelligently

Insight by the British Assessment Bureau on how to successfully develop a business plan, including a clear checklist that can be followed

Article providing tips from accomplished individuals on tailoring the business plan to the audience, assessing competition, developing a financial strategy, setting goals and other

Article containing information on the content of a business plan, its purpose, importance and key aspects to be addressed

Business forum, containing information on starting a business, human resources, market analysis, operations, financial management and other

Harvard Business School PPT for Business Plan

Set of tips from MARS on business planning for social enterprises

Toolkits for social enterprise

Business planning guide to develop a social enterprise by the Forth Sector Development

Examples of Non-profit Business plans in a variety of sectors that can be used as a template for your social business

Document on the “Introduction to Social Enterprise: Learner’s Guide” document developed by the International Labour Organisation

Document discussing successful social enterprises in Africa

Article on social enterprises in East Africa by Alliance Magazine, highlighting opportunities, challenges and the way forward

Document by Social Ventures Australia on “Business Planning Guide for Social Enterprises”

Fundraising & Philanthropy

Good Fundraising strategy is key to solicitate financial support for your social enterprises to generate revenue for their organisation’s mission. It provides means for social businesses to build relationships, create foundation support and attract new lenders or donors.

Philanthropy refers to the efforts undertaken by an individual or organisation to improve the welfare of communities and provide social benefits in large scales. It can involve charitable donations, raising money for a cause or simply volunteering to make the world a better place. Moreover, refers to any practices directed towards social enhancement and minimisation of societal challenges.

The following sources contain relevant information on fundraising strategies, tools and guides to help you fundraise for your social business in Africa, as well as philanthropy efforts and how it invests on social businesses:

A Guide to Finance for Social Enterprises in South Africa” by the International Labour Organisation

A Guide to Finance for Social Enterprises in South Africa” by GreaterCapital

Strategies to find funding for your social business in Africa

Document developed by the British Council on “Social Enterprise Landscape in Ghana” expressing the social enterprise environment, profiles, finance and social investment

Document developed by the University of Pretoria “Financing Social Enterprises: Constraints and Opportunities in South Africa”

Set of resources from Globalgiving

"Build Your Digital Fundraising Strategy" from Globalgiving

Largest German crowdfunding platform for donations

Crowdfunding platform

Case study that highlights crowdfunding platforms in Africa

12 case studies developed by the Bertha Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship related to financing strategies in Africa

8 crowdfunding sites referred by Forbes for Social Entrepreneurs

Article on how to build a culture of philanthropy in your organisation

Article on community philanthropy expressing how individuals can get involved and to think beyond the investment

Article that assesses how philanthropy is beneficial for society

Article expressing the relationship between fundraising and philanthropy

Article expressing the incorporation of philanthropy within fundraising

Document providing insight on the Economics of philanthropy and fundraising

Book on how to facilitate higher education growth through fundraising and philanthropy

Document expressing philanthropy and development in Southern Africa

Social Impact Measurement

Social Impact Measurement is key to understand the level of positive change an organisation can bring to society. It allows social enterprises to evaluate how their mission can provide social benefits and determine the degree of positive impact generated in people’s lives through its operations. Social impact measurement is also relevant for funding opportunities, since potential funders want to ensure that they are investing in a social business that will promote a real difference in society.

Also, measuring the social impact improves credibility of the organisation, inspires team members, attracts financing and volunteers and encourages continuous improvement of services. Here is a selection of best sources to help you understand the purpose and importance of impact measurement for social enterprises, as well as provide methods you can use to measure the degree of positive change your business will bring to society.

The following sources contain relevant information on social impact measurement guides, strategies, and tools to help you analyse the social impact of your enterprise:

Types of social impact measurements and highlights some successful approaches to measuring that impact

Guide to measure your social impact, identifying the changes to be measured

Article by The Guardian Newspaper providing useful tips on how to measure your social impact

Document highlighting the importance, purpose and the key thematic areas of social impact measurement

Social Impact Report developed by Big Society Capital

Article expressing how to collect and measure social impact indicators

Article expressing the “African model of social impact measurement: testing European knowledge in the context of social innovations in the Western Cape region of South Africa”

Report on proposed approaches to social impact measurement adopted by the GECES Sub-group

Document developed by Kingston Smith on “Impact Measurement Toolkit” for the charity sector

Articles on social impact measurement for charities, highlighting “Expert advice, case studies and good practice in how charities can measure and communicate their impact”

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ensures that businesses are conducted in a ethical manner, taking into consideration the social, economic and environmental impacts caused through its operations, as well as having consideration for human rights. It refers to a corporation’s initiative to evaluate how their products or services affect the surrounding environment and take responsibility for such effects. In this manner, companies are able to reduce the degree of negative impact and promote positive social change, while increasing competitive advantage, protecting brand name and building trust with costumers.

The following sources contain relevant information on CSR guides, strategies, and tools for your social enterprise in Africa:

Book on corporate governance and social responsibility

Research Document on corporate social responsibility conducted by the University of Science and Technology of Taiwan

Article on the efforts of Microsoft towards CSR, including business principles, approach to empowering people and environmental sustainability

Book on CSR, containing insight on its definition, principles, effects and cost

Article on CSR “The centrepiece of competing and complementary frameworks”, providing insight on the history of CSR, definition, stakeholder management, sustainability, business ethics, corporate citizenship and the future of CSR

Document which refers to an institutional analysis of CSR in Kenya

Webpage containing a list of selected articles with theoretical content related to CSR

Document providing insight on CSR in developing countries

Document expressing the impact of CSR on the financial performance of firms in South Africa

Document reflecting CSR practices in developing and transitional countries, especially Botswana and Malawi

Harvard University document on CSR in African development:

Document by the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility - third international conference for business and human rights, exploring the relationship between CSR and Sustainable Development in Africa

Document by the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and development expressing CSR in Sub-Saharan Africa, containing methodology, country reports and recommendations

Global Benchmark

Refers to a principle-based framework for enterprises, providing 10 principles across various areas such as human rights, environment, labour and anti-corruption. This strategic initiative supports companies that are committed to responsible business practices and contributes to sustainable development. In other words, refers to principles that should be embedded in the company’s value system and the manner in which business is conducted.

The following sources provide great insight on the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact:

The 10 Principles of UN Global Compact

Document by the UN Global Compact “A guide to the engagement in the United Nations Global Compact”

Document expressing the future of sustainable business

United Nations Global Compact proving detailed description of each principle (French)

Document expressing the relationship between CSR and the UN Global Compact

Document on the UN Global Compact “The promise-performance gap”

Brief overview of the UN Global Compact

Document relating global sustainability governance and the UN Global Compact

Provides a global standard for responsible investment relating to social, environmental and corporate governance factors. The aim is to align investment activities with societal interests, contributing to the development of a more sustainable financial system.

The following sources provide great isight on the UN 6 principles for Responsible Investment:

The 6 Principles

The 6 Principles for responsible investment and their implementation

The 6 principles for responsible investment and guidelines for multinational enterprises

An introduction to the principles for responsible investment

A guide for private equity fund managers on responsible investment

UN Global Compact and the principles for responsible investment - Communication of Progress

Book on responsible investment


Climate financing refers to financing mechanisms conducted by regional, national and international entities with the aim to mitigate climate change and develop adapting projects and programs that will ensure the reduction of negative effects on global climatic patterns. Moreover, it involves the transfer of funds from developed to developing nations to reduce the percentage of emissions and allow for the adaptation to climate change.

The following sources will provide great insight on the topic of climate finance:

Brief definition and introduction to climate finance

Paris Agreement document stipulating that developed countries shall provide financial resources to developing countries to assist with climate change

Summary and recommendations by the standing committee of finance, and the overview of climate finance flows

Document by the UNFCCC on possible elements of a financial framework to address climate change

UNFCCC dialogue on the long-term cooperative action to enhance climate chance

Document on the global landscape for climate finance 2017

Report on how climate finance is making a difference

Document on climate finance and engagement with private sector, including current investment and the risks and barriers associated to it

Document developed by the UNFPA on “Financing that makes a difference” including how much each country will pay, allocation of resources, recommendations and case study

Article expressing Africa and climate finance

Project “Making climate finance work in Africa”

Document on Climate Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Report by the Multilateral Development Bank on Climate Finance

Islamic finance refers to the manner in which Muslim organisations raise financial resources in accordance with Sharia, also known as Islamic Law. In such law, money has no intrinsic value and therefore in accordance to their faith, a Muslim may not receive or lend money expecting to benefit. It is a unique form of socially responsible investment where individuals should invest in a productive manner and generate wealth through legitimate trade and investment in assets.

The following sources will provide great insight on the topic of Islamic Financing:

Beginners guide to Islamic Financing

Document providing an overview of Islamic Finance

Document on Islamic Finance, its opportunities, challenges and policy options

Document expressing the principles and practices of Islamic Finance

Document introducing the Islamic Banking and Finance

Document by the World Bank on Islamic finance, including market trends, how it works and the state of development of Islamic finance

Article on Islamic finance, the ethics concepts and practice

Introduction and importance of Islamic finance

A comparative study of Islamic financial system and the conventional financial system

Differences and similarities between Islamic and Conventional banking

Missing something?

We would appreciate your contribution to our knowledge portal by providing us with additional sources you find relevant. Feel free to interact with us by sending other links, toolkits, manuals or methodologies that might be useful to other Social Business.