Glossary of Terms

A Glossary of Terms for the New Economy Summit

Social Venture Collaborative, January 2018

  1. ANCHOR INSTITUTIONS — Nonprofit institutions, especially universities and non-profit hospitals, that tend to remain in place. Their economic power can be leveraged to produce targeted community benefits (

  2. B CORPORATION – For-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. (

  3. ASSET BASED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (ABCD) – A grassroots approach to community development in which local stakeholders identify, strengthen, and leverage individual and community assets (

  4. COLLABORATIVE — An organized group of people or entities who work together towards a particular goal (

  5. COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT — A contract signed by community groups and a real estate developer that requires the developer to provide specific amenities and/or mitigations to the local community or neighborhood (

  6. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FINANCE INSTITUTION (CDFI) — Entity that provides credit and financial services to people and communities underserved by mainstream commercial banks and lenders (

  7. COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING — A fast-growing economic development movement that strengthens our communities through broader democratic ownership and control of business and jobs (

  8. COOPERATIVE (CO-OP) A corporation jointly owned and democratically governed by workers (worker co-op), customers (consumer co-op), producers (producer co-op) or some combination (hybrid co-op).

  9. CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) The CSR movement calls for businesses to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life for employees, local communities and society at large.

  10. CO-WORKING SPACE — The use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.

  11. DECOLONIZE — To free from dependent status; to allow to become self-governing (—used in struggles for self-determination; also applied to structures of thinking and valuing that have been internalized.

  12. DOUBLE-BOTTOM LINE / TRIPLE-BOTTOM LINE — The simultaneous pursuit of returns on investment in two or three areas: financial, social and environmental.

  13. ECOLOGY—the set of relationships existing between any complex system and its surroundings or environment (, ECO-SYSTEM—A community of organisms together with their physical environment, viewed as a system of interacting and interdependent relationships and including such processes as the flow of energy… (

  14. EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLANS (ESOPs) — For-profit entities in which employees own part or all of the businesses for which they work, usually through pension, investments, or borrowing agreements. (

  15. ENERGY DEMOCRACY — An energy system where decisions are made by the users of energy, and where access to both the governance and benefits of the system is equitable by socioeconomic status and race (

  16. ENTREPRENEUR/ SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR/ NON PROFIT ENTREPRENEUR — A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so ( A social entrepreneur establishes an enterprise with the aim of solving social problems or effecting social change. A non-profit entrepreneur pays increasing attention to market forces without losing sight of the nonprofit’s underlying mission.

  17. EXTRACTIVE ECONOMY — An economy that depends on withdrawal of natural resources by extraction with no provision for replenishment (

  18. GREEN ECONOMY — An economy in which economic growth and environmental responsibility work together while supporting progress on social development (International Chamber of Commerce /

  19. INNOVATION – The creation of something new. Innovation is often confused with entrepreneurship, but innovation does not necessarily include earned income. SOCIAL INNOVATION – New strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that meet social needs of all kinds, from working conditions and education to community development and health.

  20. LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS – A collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic, and social health of a particular area (

  21. NEW ECONOMY — An emerging vision for a just, sustainable, and democratic future (

  22. RESILIENCE — the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness (en.oxford COMMUNITY RESILIENCE — Ability of a community to anticipate risk, limit impact, and bounce back rapidly through adaptability… in the face of turbulent change ( URBAN RESILIENCE—the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of stresses—acute or chronic (e.g. high unemployment; endemic violence)—they experience. (

  23. RESULTS-BASED ACCOUNTABILITY (RBA) (also Outcomes-Based Accountability (OBA)) — A disciplined way of thinking and taking action that communities can use to improve the lives of children, youth, families, adults and the community as a whole (

  24. RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI) — Concerned with the cash flow, profitability, balance sheet and other financial results; SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT (SROI) — Concerned with social outcomes of the strategy or business; ENVIRONMENTAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT (EROI) — Concerned with environmental impact.

  25. SELF-SUFFICIENCY The ability to fund the future of a social venture through earned income alone; could also be applied to an individual sustaining him/herself financially.

  26. SHARING ECONOMY — A system in which people rent, borrow, or share commodities, services, and resources owned by individuals, usually with the aid of online technology, in an effort to save money, cut costs, and reduce waste (

  27. SOCIAL BUSINESS According to Muhammad Yunus, a “non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within the highly regulated marketplace of today. It is distinct from a non-profit because the business should seek to generate a modest profit but this will be used to expand the company’s reach, improve the product or service or in other ways to subsidize the social mission”

  28. SOCIAL ENTERPRISE Any organization, in any sector, that uses earned income strategies to pursue a double or triple bottom line, either alone (as a social sector business) or as part of a mixed revenue stream that includes charitable contributions and public sector subsidies.

  29. SOCIAL IMPACT INVESTING – Investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return ( SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING (SRI) — Any investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social good to bring about a social change.

  30. MICRO FINANCING – Financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services (

  31. SOCIAL VENTURE – A social venture is an undertaking by a firm or organization established by a social entrepreneur that seeks to provide systemic solutions to achieve a sustainable, social objective (

  32. SOLIDARITY ECONOMY –An alternative economic model to neoliberal capitalism, one which is grounded on solidarity and cooperation, rather than the pursuit of narrow, individual self-interest, and that promotes economic democracy, alternative models of local economic governance, equity and sustainability rather than the unfettered rule of the market (

  33. STAKEHOLDER — Any person, group or institution with an impact on an organization or affected by it.

  34. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT — Community and economic development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs ( NON-PROFIT SUSTAINABILITY – The ability to fund the future of a nonprofit through a mixed revenue stream — a  combination of earned income, charitable contributions and public sector subsidies.

  35. VENTURE CAPITAL — The money and resources made available to startup firms and small businesses with exceptional growth potential. VC typically comes in these stages: Angel money, Seed capital, First-stage financing, Second-stage financing, and Mezzanine financing (usually before IPO)

  36. VENTURE PHILANTHROPY — The application by donors and investors of certain principles traditionally associated with venture capitalists to improve the capacity or performance of a nonprofit or to invest in social sector businesses.

  37. WEALTH WORKS VALUE CHAIN — A network of people, businesses, organizations and agencies addressing a market opportunity to meet demand for specific products or services—advancing self-interest while building rooted local and regional wealth (


Additional sources:
( -enterprise-dictionary)