A social business usually referred to as a social enterprise, is an organization that prioritizes both its financial growth and the contribution to social causes. Usually, a considerable part of the profits of a social business is allocated to charitable activity (Bromberger & Frankel, 2013). It does not mean that the company handles operations to give away its revenue, which could put at risk the sustainability of the firm, but that its only objective is not only raising money but to help its surrounding environment to achieve their goals. Those objectives may imply securing a roof for low-income families, for instance.
In addition, another feature of social businesses relies on the fact that such organizations typically employ individuals from an at-risk sector of a community who are people who have suffered labor exploitation, or people from marginalized groups (Dean & Reiser, 2017). Even hiring those types of workers may be the ultimate goal of the green social enterprise.
A clear example of a social enterprise is Australian vegetables and basic consumables shop Fair Food. Founded in 2010, the organization is sponsored by the Center for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) that focuses on addressing problems caused by climate change, promoting community well-being and cohesion (Social Traders & Sustainability Victoria, 2012). When it comes to businesses, CERES is involved in organic vegetable farming. Some of the characteristics inherent to Fair Food include:
Following CERES' practices, Fair Food offers organic vegetables, not Genetically Modified (GM). Among the goods the company sells we can find organic boxes of fruit and vegetables, black beans, goat cheese, eggs, cheddar, sour cream, full cream and low-fat milk, sourdough snaps, ginger ale, and honey, to name a few. On its online web page, Fair Food posts recipes that could be easily prepared using the ingredients purchased from the shop (CERES Fair food, 2020). The recipes are updated on a regular basis and are classified based on the season of the year and dietary needs.
The main objectives of Fair Food involve supporting Melbourne's agricultural activities, providing job positions to workers from disadvantaged backgrounds, offering fresh, organic food to community inhabitants, and generating income to support CERES' charitable tasks. Fair Food attempts to fulfill the previously mentioned by giving quality customer experience and minimizing the environmental impact as a result of the operations of the business implementing green energy devices like solar panels, for example.
Victorian suppliers provide Fair Food with organic products. Buyers select and purchase their diary and consumables on the website of the company. Buyers' orders are then sent to food hosts, who are individuals, businesses, or organizations meant to keep the buyers' products safe until the pick-up. Purchasers can select where to grab their orders -nearby, home, work, school, etc.- depending on what suits them best. Fair Food has over 50 drop-off points all over Melbourne, some of them being located up to 25 km outside the city, nearby Eltham North.
According to a study conducted by Social Traders and Sustainability Victoria (2012), consumers stated that what holds them back from being regular Fair Food clients is its order pick-up system. Sometimes the locations are not convenient for buyers who would prefer the goods to be dropped at their door step. Back then, delivery app services were not as common (or not even invented) like nowadays. Fair Food could pursue a partnership with Rappi or Deliveroo to send orders at lower prices so consumers have their products sent to the physical address of their preference, without the need for them to mobilize to a certain point of the city. At the same time, this could boost Fair Food sales since its area of reach would be widened.
The enterprise site is quite impressive. The presentation of items is made in a beautiful way with clear photos of products and the enterprise's employees. The presentation shows a clean environment and acceptable handling of the items of the enterprise where the person is handling observes hygienic handling procedures by putting on gloves and packaging of food in clean boxes. I would gladly recommend others to this enterprise because of how it handles its products and the terms of service, which includes consideration for environmental protection and reduction of pollution by re-using the boxes.
The design of the site is attractive. The targeted audience of the enterprise is domestic users of its products, which can be restaurants and families. The main target audience is local or nearby use because it states that it has a home delivery service. Furthermore, the enterprise boasts of being loved because it offers different food items and sells purely organic items with no use of chemicals. The design that can make the site more attractive includes dynamic photos of products and delivery procedures instead of a static photo of one place and items. The use of dynamic photos that keep changing as one views item on the site will help them know the type and number of items sold without reading the wording. The use of visuals is more appealing in marketing than words (Simi, 2020). An alternative to dynamic images is adding more photos of smaller size between the wordings in the site.
The content of the site is attractive and presented comprehensively. Any visitor to the site may not need to contact the enterprise for further information or consult others unless they want to confirm the information's authenticity. It distinguishes its contribution to various groups, including customers, suppliers, the environment and the community. The information is presented in clear and simple language that almost every individual who can read can understand. The site is also friendly to the user since it is not complex and can be navigated easily. The content is presented wholly on one page so that a user who is not used to online services will find it easy to navigate through. A simple website can help generate more sales and is easy to design (Hostfiti, 2020).
The website is simple; it also provides links to other websites such as a page to place orders. It also has a login link where one can register and place orders. Other links are to the enterprise social media pages. An alternative portfolio to the above business includes dynamic photos that include those of workers delivering the products, customers receiving the items and their feedback. I would also include the location information of the enterprise so that customers who would like to make direct physical purchases can visit the shop.
An additional service would be the use of retail shops beside online orders and home delivery.
Thus, in my opinion the website is well crafted and designed for the customers but they can add up more pictures and visual content to add more drama in the website so that it is more pleasant and eye appealing in the look. They should even try to expand their business by not just targeting the local people but also to the people who are far away. This will in turn generate more revenue and income for the company in the long run as well.
Bromberger, A. & Frankel, C. (2013). The Art of Social Enterprise: Business as If People Mattered. United States: New Society Publishers.
CERES Fair food.(2020). CERES Fair food.Retrieved from https://www.ceresfairfood.org.au/
Dean, S. A. & Reiser, D. B. (2017). Social Enterprise Law: Trust, Public Benefit, and Capital Markets. United States: Oxford University Press.
Hostfiti. (2020). What a Simple Website is & it’s Advantages. Retrieved from https://hostfiti.com/web-development/simple-website-advantages/
Simi. (2020). What Type of Visual Content Is Most Appealing? Retrieved from https://www.cincopa.com/blog/what-type-of-visual-content-is-most-appealing/
Social Traders & Sustainability Victoria.(2012). Green Social Enterprise Case Study. Retrieved from: https://www.socialtraders.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/CERES-GSE-case-study.pdf
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