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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 for the price of one, January 16, 2009
By 
T. E. Eckstein (Twin Cities, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
In this book, you are able to get the ideas, suggestions and advice from 20 successful social enterprise entreprenuirs in one place. It condenses their years of learning into digestable tidbits that you can grasp and use well beyond the social enterprise world that is the source of the information. It combines the mechanical, must-do, analytical requirements with the affection, desire and vision drivers that make these people a success. Thanks for sharing these stories.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Million Dollar Chapter--Chapter 3, June 9, 2009
I just started my own non profit organization, [...]. I was a Corporate Sales and Marketing Professional for 25 years, and became ill with a condition called Systemic Candida, and decided to form an organization to raise awareness about this debilitating condition caused by prolonged use of antibiotics. I struggled for weeks trying to determine the best structure for my new organization. I talked with attorneys, accountants, and support organizations, and not a single person could tell me all that I needed to know. I was in a hurry, and saw this book, so I picked up the phone and called this very approachable and kind author--Kevin Lynch. He called me back within 24 hours, and emailed me, and suggested I jump right into Chapter 3 to answer my question. And, he followed through with a follow up call to make sure I got what I needed. Let me tell you something. I feel like I just got an education from the Wharton School of Business on Social Enterprise. That is a million dollar chapter!!
I am now on my way to finish the book, but it answered my question all right. For my organization, I need non profit, 501 (c)(3). If you are struggling with how to set up your new organization and want to learn about social enterprise as well as other set ups--Kevin Lynch is the man. I will write my full book review once I am done. FIVE STARS!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very worthwhile, January 5, 2009
By 
Kris Prendergast (Washington, DC, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book tremendously. I thought it would be a dry book about the dry subject of operations, but the tone of the writing makes it feel like the authors are having a conversation with you in your living room. As for the subject, it packs precise punches at the most critical things to keep in mind as you deal with daily operational challenges in a social enterpise. Easy and enjoyable to read, and very worthwhile advice from experienced practitioners.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Practical - for starting or growing your social enterprise, January 25, 2009
By 
Marc Lesser (Mill Valley, California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
Like an experienced consultant, coach, or good friend, Mission, Inc. tells it like it is -- in the trenches, difficult, and, at the same time -- what could be more worthwhile then to make a difference, doing what you love, and what is most needed. By addressing the paradoxes of business, and of life, Lynch and Walls integrate brutal honesty with a "can-do/must do" spirit that is rare, and I believe essential! Practical and poetic, inspiring and grounded.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent business management book, January 20, 2010
By 
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
Social work is something close to my heart and I'm a business consultant/entrepreneur by profession. The balance between depth, breadth and quality is excellent. The book doesn't waste any real estate and on top of it identifies practical tips, which are more than tips. They very solid principles of doing business, equally applicable in social enterprise (SE)and a corporation, and must for SE.
If you need a no BS guide to managing a small business, general management principles and specifically a social enterprise this book is a must read.
If you a social bent of mind and don't have formal education/experience in business management, it becomes even more important, read it and you won't regret.

Sunil Sheoran
Author of Mylife Framework: A Model For A Successful Life Based On The Yoga Principles
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trustworthy, practical AND fun advice for any business person, January 15, 2009
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
Reading this book was like having a privileged front row seat to view the heart and soul of actual social enterprises. There were many examples of real businesses dealing with real time issues - sage insights placed right where you hoped for more information. There was nothing dry about reading this book and in fact, I came away inspired by what business can do. Why aren't all businesses this way? You will find more than the practical advice you're looking for - you'll find your passion for this work and how to let it keep leading you. A very important read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice inside principles wrapped in stories, January 11, 2009
By 
Tony Deifell (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
This book is very helpful for leaders and managers who want to the tackle the dual purpose of growing a business and having an impact in the world -- regardless of whether you're organized as a not-for-profit such as "KaBOOM!" or or a for-profit business such as Ben & Jerry's (both of which are examples in the book).

It starts out with the two authors' stories, which gives it such credibility. You know that you can trust the advice that follows like you can trust a well-trodden path in the woods.

At one point, they warn "Never give or take 'expert advice' too seriously," so they are aware that their aphorisms are to be taken with a grain of salt -- as interesting as they are. For example, one I liked was, "Most daily decisions aren't made in perfect mission-margin balance. They will tip in one direction."

They don't leave their advice at pithy statements, they go on to give lists (for example, a sample table of contents for a social enterprise business plan) and in-the-trenches stories from current social enterprisers, which I found most interesting.

One story emphasizes the importance of measuring your impact, but cautions the reader on the drawbacks of overshooting what an organization can measure:

"... if we were constantly trying to measure outcomes, it would take seven to ten years for us to be looking at what those outcomes are..." said KaBOOM! CEO Darell Hammond referring to the outcome of reducing childhood obesity. (KaBOOM! is the market leader for community-built playgrounds.) He points out that,"by the time we tried to have process improvement, . . . it would be five years into a cycle."

This isn't a dense manual for how to run a social enterprise, but that is what is appealing about it. I found it very accessible and insightful at the same time.

At a time when the social and financial missions of businesses are increasingly intertwined, this is a useful read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a business book that balances passionate action with humble patience!, January 7, 2009
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
It is refreshing to read a book written by two successful social entrepreneurs who are more focused on sharing what they've learned rather than simply telling their personal stories. Their passion for their social enterprises together with the obvious mutual love and respect the two authors share, help make the book come alive. This truly is a `practitioner's guide' and one that I'm going to share with my entrepreneur buddies who are always looking for some good solid `practical nuggets'and `gems of wisdom' (of which there are many). The book is really a lot about balance, with it's constant reference to their `ten paradoxes'. Anyone who is in business knows that we deal with these paradoxes daily and we struggle to find a way to balance two or more competing values. I especially liked the way they work to balance the paradox of their sense of urgency to change the world with the patience of knowing we must do this work in a gentle and loving way--a humility that can only come from running a social enterprise for many years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-worn and regularly recommended, May 4, 2010
By 
Caryn Capriccioso (Boulder, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
Since first purchasing Mission, Inc., I have not only used it as a reference in my own work (a social purpose, for-profit business), but regularly share and recommend Mission, Inc. to clients and people attending training sessions on the topics of social enterprise and convergence. Unlike some books focused on recounting stories of social enterprise development or tools/templates alone, Mission, Inc. combines the best of a practical guide to starting and managing a social enterprise with the stories of successful enterprises run by the authors.

While incredibly useful, informative and educational, the pace and style of the writing make the subject matter feel fresh. I highly recommend Mission, Inc. to emerging and current social enterprise practitioners.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars clear and informative, February 28, 2009
This review is from: Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network) (Paperback)
[[ASIN:1576754790 Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise (Social Venture Network)]
This book is an easy read packed with wonderful information about social enterprise. Although I have worked in the field for more than a dozen years, I found the anecdotal accounts very instructive. The authors clarify what is required to create, develop and sustain a business that will positively impact society. This book should be mandatory reading for non-profit social enterprise board members.
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