Perchance to Scale
Though many social entrepreneurs are proponents of scale, the goal is a more difficult one for them to achieve than for traditional enterprises. For one thing, balancing the objectives of profit and purpose requires greater diligence and care. Focusing too much on growth and revenue can sometimes come at the expense of mission. As a result, growth is often set at a slower pace, sometimes a funder or investor’s focus on scale is viewed as antithetical to long-term change.
Elisa Birnbaum is editor-in-chief of SEE Change Magazine, a digital publication of social entrepreneurship and social change. Her journalistic portfolio includes articles published in the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, CBC.ca, Profit, Zoomer and Lifestyles Magazine. She's a regular contributor on social entrepreneurship for the National Post and covers issues in the non-profit sector as a freelance reporter for CharityVillage.com. President of Elle Communications, Elisa helps her clients tell their stories effectively and with impact. As a producer, she has worked on documentaries and current affairs programs at History Television, Discovery Health, TVO and the CBC. Elisa holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Concordia University and an LL.B degree from Université de Montréal and the University of Toronto's Osgoode Hall. She's a speaker on social entrepreneurship and was recently awarded an Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship at Cambridge University, UK, for her work with SEE Change Magazine. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.