A “social unicorn” is a term used to describe a startup that is creating both financial and social value, or in other words, a company that is both profitable and making a positive impact on society.
A social unicorn is a business model that prioritizes both the traditional goal of achieving profitability, as well as the mission of addressing social or environmental issues. These companies often have a purpose that goes beyond just making money and strive to create a positive impact on society or the environment. Examples of this kind of company can be seen in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, healthcare or financial services for underbanked population.
In the past, it was believed that companies that focused on creating social value would always sacrifice financial success, but the emergence of social unicorns has shown that this is not always the case. By creating a sustainable business model that prioritizes both financial and social impact, these companies are proving that it is possible to create successful businesses that are also making a positive difference in the world.
It is also worth noting that, like in the case of “unicorn” start-ups, the term “social unicorn” is more of a metaphor and not a strict definition, and thus the companies deemed as “social unicorn” are not always meet some specific, common criteria.