The book: 4th Sector Entrepreneurship

Read our book, (reached #1 on Amazon Kindle) to find out comprehensively about the tools and ideas that inform our approach.

Plus, hear from +35 successful 4th Sector Entrepreneurs whom we interviewed as research for the book.

* Download the first 2 chapters for free today!

Get the full book on Amazon

Reason behind the book

Why did we write this book?

01/ To start a coherent conversation about the 4th Sector

One of the few things that people can agree on at a time of so much fractious debate is that our society is faced with a host of what can at times seem insurmountable problems. Innovation is essential to find the solutions

We believe there is a need to recognise a 4th Sector of the economy, where the enterprise of business mixes with the sense of service of government and the compassion of not-for-profit to create an exciting space where innovation for substantial social good can truly thrive.

That’s why we believe it’s time to start talking clearly, coherently and consistently about a 4th Sector of the economy, but crucially one that is defined more by the attitude and intent of its leaders and their organisations as any legal definition or structure.

02/ Being a 4th Sector Entrepreneur is hard – and lonely

Individuals who exhibit a relationship with money that clashes with traditional commercial entrepreneurship; a restlessness that makes them ill-suited to the public sector; and a willingness to embrace risk to achieve their aims that clashes with the charity sector.

However, these attitudes which make them distinct can also result in a frustration of not being understood and a feeling of isolation by not fitting in.

In defining a 4th Sector, a checklist of attributes emerge which 4th Sector entrepreneurs can use to initiate themselves into the club and to recognise fellow comrades.

Wow – what a book. It is a most comprehensive review of the widest range of good practices, excellent process to adopt and ideas to implement. You have clearly – with academic rigour investigated many sources – and included many of the best bits. It was so comprehensive that I see it as ‘the definitive guide to help and support the creation of a successful enterprise.

Raoul Pinnell
Chairman of Bromley Healthcare CIC

A great resource for social entrepreneurs helping them to build more successful social enterprises more quickly to address the increasing social and environmental challenges we face today.

Sophi Tranchell
Group CEO Divine Chocolate Ltd

I have found the book incredibly useful. Really accessible. You can read cover to cover or dip in to particular sections. It is a true toolbox of simple and practical models which I return to time and again and am building in to my day to day work.

KAt Sowden
Managing Director of Persona Care & Support

I really enjoyed the book. It provides a clear and logical framework of guidance for both new or more experienced leaders. If only I had it when we first spun out!

David Osborne
Managing Director of Catalyst Choices CIC

From the breadth and depth of direct quotes and examples from successful social entrepreneurs that have been included, it is clear that the authors have a huge wealth of direct experience. On top of that the book is well written and very accessible. If you run a social enterprise or thinking of setting one up then this book is a must.

Dave Patterson
Founder & Digital Director of Cyberlogical

I've had the pleasure of working with and learning from Ben and Bubble Chamber for years. This book is a wonderful and practical distillation of their first-hand expertise, their unique approach, and their tactical (not to mention refreshing) style. Every entrepreneur, particularly those focused on the social / environmental space, will find immense value here; this is a practical field guide that you'll revisit over and over again, particularly when navigating choppy waters.

Carlos Miranda
Founder of Social Misfits Media

Begins with an exploration of the concept of the 4th sector – a place where social businesses draw upon the discipline and savvy of the commercial sector combined with the values of the charitable sector in order to create something innovative and dynamic.  The argument for the existence of the 4th sector is well made and the rest of the book is a guide for those of us operating in this environment. Includes an impressive range of business models and techniques. Packed full of ideas and fresh approaches with something new, even for an old hand like myself! Highly recommend

Brendan O'Keefe
Non-executive Director of Epic CIC

Book outline:

PArt one

The 4th Sector

What is the 4th Sector and why is it needed? This part also looks at the difficulties it creates for you as leaders in having to serve multiple masters and why anyone would choose to become a 4th Sector Entrepreneur.

PArt two

Laying the Foundations

Some practical ways in which you can lay a solid foundation that allows you to work on your enterprise rather than in it.

PArt three

Clarity of Leadership

Looks at how Clarity of Leadership is built on three principles – Clarity for the Individual Leader, Clarity of The Big Result and Clarity of Market Positioning – and how this clarity can be communicated to everyone involved with your organisation using a tool called Strategy on a Page.

PArt four

Clarity of Strategy

On overview of the key areas you need to consider. Also introducing our fourth principle, which is that Talent – hiring, developing and retaining the right people – is the most important strategy of them all.

PArt five

Clarity of Culture

Explaining our final three principles – Clarity of Measurement, Clarity of Execution and Clarity of Communication – which together form the backbone of your organisational culture.

PArt six

Clarity of Meetings

Introduces some meeting structures that bring everything together in a highly practical, day-to-day way.

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