“Scale makes me want to scream”

A great article here from Thrivable on scale.


In both for profit and social enterprise, people talk about creating a business that scales. And it is said as if there were no other way worth doing it. It is said as if you don’t have a successful business if it doesn’t expand in size. And you don’t have a successful social business if your impact isn’t scaling.
It makes me want to scream. Or inside I am already screaming.

There are organizations that are best at scale. And laudable well scaled social enterprises exist too. I am not denying that. I am saying the glorification of any of those without pointing to small business or local enterprises diminishes the power and results of an organization that is not scaling ever upward in our collective awareness. Where are the HBR or SSIR articles on local social business and impact?

So true, and a theme of mine, that we need to celebrate local, well run, impactful enterprises as much and if not more than the glamorous quick scale quick fix enterprises. Small, impactful organisations with deep roots in their communities are vital to a diverse and healthy economy and we need to celebrate them more.

An end note to this post with a story from Peter Holbrook of Social Enterprise UK who said he was losing money running a cafe employing people with disabilities in London and thought that if he scaled and opened five cafes, then the biz would start making money. But, instead he just lost 5 x the amount of money.


About stevewilliams1901

Social entrepreneur based in Australia.
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