Think social enterprises are feel-good businesses, selling a handicraft or two? If so, you might have to think again. Social enterprises aim to solve social or environmental problems while staying financially fit, and the world is seeing more of these businesses.
What’s missing, perhaps, is an enterprise that brings them altogether.
Say hello to Cruxcee, a platform for social enterprises to be discovered as suppliers in the global supply chain.
The “Aha” moment behind Cruxcee
Inspired by the BCorp and BTeam movements, Founder Jordan Holzmann revealed that the inspiration came from his own experience working with social enterprises. Many were rather small and niche companies struggling to breakeven and relying on grants while serving the consumer market. On the other hand, there was the B2B market, which has not been commonly accessed by social enterprises.
“A key component of business is procurement and supply chains, so I thought why can’t a social enterprise be involved in a B2B market and not just a consumer market?” said Holzmann.
According the founder, Cruxcee’s platform will help social enterprises scale, if they could offer commercial solutions, supply contracts and undertake larger projects.
Work and funding in progress
Cruxcee has been gaining interest from investors, and have developed a prototype, which is undergoing tests in the Australian market. If all is well, Cruxcee will be launched within the next six months.
What sets the start-up apart from other procurement sites is that all listed suppliers are certified social enterprises. Perhaps, one may think of this as a niche market for companies with a conscience. But with multinationals hopping into the global trend of doing good, perhaps it wouldn’t require a stretch of the imagination to figure out how Cruxcee has taken a rather tasty piece of the pie.
Holzmann added, “As the world shifts to online procurement, this is the space we want to play in. This is the space where social enterprises need to keep their finger on the pulse.”
The vision, otherwise known as crux of the matter
When asked what his vision was, Holzmann said, “ The vision for Cruxcee is to help social enterprises all over the world scale and grow beyond their niche and become big players in their industry. In the future, buyers will flock to Cruxcee for their procurement because they know they are not just getting cutting edge products and services but also social impact.”
Broken down into smaller steps, this vision will first be manifested in the form of a cloud based web application that will be accompanied by mobile application in the near future.
Like many tech start-ups, the big challenge Cruxcee faces is in getting the platform right, and ensuring there are no features that are surplus to requirements or that complicate current procurement practice.
I guess social enterprises and the global market can finally look forward to meeting each other.