What is a social enterprise?

What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise is an organization that applies business strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being. The social enterprise is one of the most rewarding activities a company can do. It not only gives employees and activists a sense of giving back to their community, but it will positively change those on whom the company’s mission is focused. Social enterprise can be difficult to define, mostly because the concept has been envolving rapidly in recent years. Social enterprise Alliance sugest the following basic working definition: 

“Organizations that address a basic unmet need or solve a social or environmental problem through a market-driven approach”.   

To clarify the term, the European Union has set out some requirements for recognising social enterprises:

  • To have as a primary objective the achievement of a positive and quantifiable impact.
  • The benefit of the company will be necessary to realize its objectives and even expand its impact.
  • Be managed with diligence, responsibility and transparency, involving employees, customers and stakeholders affected by their business activities.

At Run the World we find the perfect formula for an organization with purpose. Tourism + Sport + Social impact. It’s that simple! We are proud to be one of the only travel agencies in the world, offering a unique opportunity to travel with purpose and experience tourism in a more responsible way. 

Wherever our sport takes us, we go and when we return home, we have left behind a positive impact on the community we visit.

Photo credit: Clark Tibbs

Social enterprise network


Whether it is the environment or communities at risk, social enterprises that are helping better communities have 3 factors in common: entrepreneurial innovation, commitment to their community or mission, and definitely much, much creativity. Here are some social enterprises that we love, with some of which we have had the pleasure of working together.



A social company we love to work with is Agua Nea. Agua Nea refers to itself as the soul and voice of the ocean. They focus on preserving the beauty and life of the marine world by selling their natural spring water. It is BPA-free and its containers are made of aluminum #infinitely recyclable, the most recyclable and recycled element in the world. At RuntheWorld we have partnered with Agua Nea on our dive trip to Indonesia with the goal of helping in the preservation of the corals.

Cork Yoga Mats makes the most sustainable and resilient yoga mats on the market and we feel very identified with their mission as part of their profits go to the Destiny Reflection Foundation in Kolkata. This organization provides support to survivors of sex slavery and human trafficking.

The Sea2See Eyewear Company, takes the plastic waste from the ocean collected in collaboration with thousands of fishermen in Spanish ports to turn it into sunglasses. Each purchase is equivalent to 10 KG of trash collected from our oceans. This is a great way for a business to be sustainable and very innovative.

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