FairShares is a three-step methodology for social enterprise development supported by:
- a set of brand principles;
- four social auditing tools;
- three advanced diagnostic / research tools;
- four sets of model rules for companies and co-operatives
- a Wiki containing technical information about the model rules and diagnostics.
- teaching and learning materials
- a methodology for creating a FairShares Lab.
They were all created during a research programme on democratising charities, co-operatives and social enterprises involving academics at Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. The model promotes a new approach to capital allocation that recognises entrepreneurial, labour and user activities as well as financial contributions. This gives more stakeholders a fairer share of the wealth created by a business.
First, we take the definition of social enterprise created in January 2012 by Social Enterprise Europe Ltd and create a brand to represent it. Level 1 of the FairShares Model is created by embedding brand concepts through coaching and social auditing.
Second, we take Level 1 coaching and social audit activities to a new level by using them to think about enterprise design. At Level 2, the brand principles inform an architecture for ongoing development of ownership, governance and management systems.
Lastly – to ensure the systems endure – Level 1 brand values and Level 2 design principles are embedded in the constitution of the organisation. At Level 3, Levels 1 and 2 are embeded into the organisation’s DNA through the re-incorporation of existing enterprises and/or incorporating new co-operatives and companies that use FairShares Model Articles of Association. These ensure the replication of the new approaches to ownership, governance and management to promote social transformation.