A Fourth Sector business is one that has a Public Good component to its mission, in addition to using Business Activities to earn a significant portion of its revenue. These businesses are sometimes referred to as hybrids, since they combine aspects of both a nonprofit (mission) and a for-profit (earned income). Some of these hybrids form as a nonprofit, while others form as a for-profit entity. In some states, hybrid legal forms such as the L3C, the Benefit Corporation, or the Multi-Purpose Corporation are also available.
The fourth sector includes many social enterprises, enterprising non-profits, cooperatives, and triple-bottom-line businesses. A few NC examples:
- A Ban (Against Neglect)
- Bark House
- Bountiful Backyards
- Burlington Company Shops Market
- Durham Economic Resource Center (DERC)
- Opportunity Threads
- PTA Thrift Stores
- Redwoods Group
- SustainU Clothing
- Triangle Ecycling
- Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA)
See our Idea Bank for many more examples of North Carolina fourth sector businesses.