Many social enterprises in the US come from the nonprofit sector, and a common way to measure nonprofit social enterprise is through earned income. Generally earned income refers to selling goods or services in exchange for a quid pro quo payment. In other words, you only get paid if you deliver the goods.
Based on the Urban Institute’s report Nonprofit Sector in Brief, it is estimated that nonprofit organizations generate about $1.1 trillion from fees for services, another term for earned income.
So we know that social enterprise is a much bigger deal in the US than most people give credit.
Tell that to your friends who say they’ve never heard of social enterprise but assume it’s pretty small potatoes.