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6 interesting findings from our latest GSEN member survey

October 13, 2017

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Between June and September 2017, GSEN conducted a member survey to update our knowledge on organisational characteristics, programs offered and members’ experiences. Building on the data we collected in 2015, the results give us a vivid picture of the network and its members, and enable us to provide yet more beneficial services and to articulate our collective impact.

The survey was sent to 48 members in June 2017 and the response rate was 63% (N=30). All told, we collected responses from across 6 continents, and in line with the geographical dispersion of GSEN members (50% in Europe, 26% in Asia and Pacific, 13% in Africa and 11% in North and South America). Here are 6 key findings from this work:

1. GSEN members are professional in supporting early-stage social enterprises

  • 50% of members have been operating 3-5 years and 40% operate more than 5 years.
  • Both in 2015 and 2017, idea stage, prototype stage and post-revenue stage are the three stages of social ventures where GSEN members focus their support.

Venture Stages supported by GSEN members in 2015 and 2017

Venture stages supported by GSEN members 2015 + 2017

2. Annual operating budget on average has increased by 10% since 2015

  • Average budget size has increased by 10%, while its median has decreased by 8%.
  • The proportion of members for whom philanthropy makes up at least half of their operating budget has dropped from 83% to 53% over 2 years. Simultaneously, the proportion of members for whom at least half their budget is made of trading activity has increased from 3% to 24%.

Operating budgets for GSEN members in 2015 & 2017 (past 12 months)

Operating budget for members 2015 + 2017

3. Fewer GSEN members provide financial support than in 2015

  • The proportion of members who provide financial support decreased from 82% to 50% over two years and the same trend can be observed regardless of types of financial support.

4. The non-financial support offered by GSEN members remains largely the same

GSEN members provide 7 types of non-financial support on average per organisation.

  • Training, peer-to-peer activities with other social entrepreneurs and mentoring/coaching are still offered widely among more than 80% of members both in 2015 and 2017. However, networking is less provided in 2017.

5. The majority of GSEN members dedicate 1 to 5 hours per week per social entrepreneur

  • 80% of members dedicate 1-5 hours per week to support one social entrepreneur.
  • 58% of members provide more than 6 months of support.

6. GSEN members are increasing their impact

  • GSEN members directly supported 4,767 social enterprises in the past 12 months (N=29, Average=164) and this has increased by 45% since 2015 (it was 2,600 with N=28, Average=93).
  • 2,588,093 unique individuals benefit from ventures created by social entrepreneurs that GSEN members have supported in the past 12 months (N=13, Average=199,084) and this has increased more than 2.5 times since 2015 (it was 667,000 with N=8, Average=83,375).
  • 9,336 jobs are created by social ventures that GSEN members have supported in the past 12 months (N=15, Average=622) and it has increase by 76% since 2015 (it was 5,300 with N=12, Average=442).
  • On average, 74% of social entrepreneurs supported by GSEN members are still operating after 3 years..

We have a more detailed summary of findings available for GSEN members and on request for researchers. Get in touch global@unltd.org.uk.

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