Home » Blog » December 2019 Book of the month “The 4th Sector Entrepreneurship”

Many people are unaware of the recent rapid rise of the social enterprise sector – it is worth £60 Billion annually in the UK economy alone! 

This book has been written to address the most prominent challenges the authors have found in their years of consulting and coaching the leaders of Social Enterprises of all sizes. Even if you are a business leader or entrepreneur who does not ‘work in the 4th Sector’ you will get great value from reading this book in terms of better understanding a growing sector that is part of the business landscape and in terms of addressing many of the challenges are common to all sectors.

The 4th Sector is typically known as ‘Social Enterprise’, Ben Freeman and Craig Carey prefer to call it ‘The 4th Sector Entrepreneurship’. The 2 oldest sectors are the business and public services sectors, the charity sector began in earnest in the 19th century with the birth of organisations like The Salvation Army, however, Social Enterprise sector is not much older than the internet and we all know how much that has grown. 

I should declare up-front that the authors of this book are clients and friends of mine. I was drawn to work with them because like most of my clients they are ‘level 7 entrepreneurs’ in other words, they are on a mission to grow enterprises with great social and environmental purposes that are also financially profitable! 

With their own successful enterprises behind them (Ben still owns the Prince Charles cinema in London’s Leicester Square) Ben and Craig created their own enterprise growth platform and methodology (The Bubble Chamber) for what they have defined as ‘the 4th Sector’.

The authors explain that to qualify for the ‘Social Enterprise Mark’ from the international accreditation authority, a social enterprise needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Be primarily dedicated to social objectives
  • Be an independent business 
  • Be planning to become sustainable through trading income 
  • Be committed to dedicating a majority of any annual profit to social purposes 
  • Have an asset lock clause or similar 
  • Have a vision of how social objectives will be achieved

I have personally encountered many businesses that are trying to be charities or provide services usually provided by publicly funded organizations. I have also encountered a number of charities that are frustrated by their reliance on external donations and are trying to create profitable business activities within their service offerings. 

Charities constantly struggle for the finances to operate and businesses often struggle to be inspired and deliver something with a purpose and meaning beyond simply making a profit.

Carey and Freeman have worked with countless Social Enterprises as consultants and coaches as well as having developed a growth platform specifically for the 4th Sector. Many of their clients are ‘Social Enterprises’ that have multi-million-pound annual turnovers.

The book reveals some of the keys methodologies to leading and growing a Social Enterprise, some of these methodologies work in any business environment, some are more specific to the 4th Sector.

The methodologies included in this book address are some of the biggest challenges Craig and Ben have encountered in their work with Social Enterprises. These challenges are each addressed in a chapter of the book:

  • The 4 Cs, which are 1. Commitment, 2. Courage, 3. Capability 4. Courage as taught to Ben and Craig by Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach
  • Personal Productivity – This is a specialist topic of mine and features my approach to increasing entrepreneurial personal productivity – ‘The MOSES Code to unlocking greater personal productivity’.
  • Developing Habits 
  • Clarity of Leadership
  • Strategy on a page – featuring the work of Deri Llewellyn Davis
  • Clarity of The Big Result
  • Clarity of Market Positioning
  • Clarity of Strategy
  • Clarity of Culture
  • Clarity of Communication
  • Clarity of Measurement 
  • Clarity of meetings

I am a contributor on this book who personally knows the great work the authors have been doing with Social Enterprises over many years, I can heartily recommend this book whichever of ‘the 4 sectors’ you work in or are interested in. 

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