Learn specific details about recent events affecting the company and the industry. Perhaps they recently hired new top executives or they were affected by industry or market changes.
What's the company's record on sustainability?
Apart from searching news sources for information on a company, also check out ESG Manager (formerly Global Socrates), a database specifically made for investors interested in a company's record on sustainablity.
Type of Company
What type of social enterprise are you looking to join?
Social Business: is a cause driven business according to Muhammad Yunus of the Yunus Centre (Yunus Centre: Social Business). "In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point...Sustainability of the company indicates that it is running as a business. The objective of the company is to achieve social goal/s."
L3C: According to the Non-Profit Law Blog, "the low-profit, limited liability company, or L3C, is a hybrid of a nonprofit and for-profit organization. More specifically, it is a new type of limited liability company (LLC) designed to attract private investments and philanthropic capital in ventures designed to provide a social benefit. Unlike a standard LLC, the L3C has an explicit primary charitable mission and only a secondary profit concern. But unlike a charity, the L3C is free to distribute the profits, after taxes, to owners or investors."
Social Finance: a movement based on the belief that financial innovation can be used directly to help society’s neediest people. (The Economist, Financial Innovation and the Poor, Sept. 25, 2009.)
B Corporation: A term coined by B Lab, “Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are unlike traditional businesses because they meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards, meet higher legal accountability standard and build business constituency for good business.” (B Lab: About B Corps.)
Flexible Purpose Corporations: A bill, S.B. 1463, is currently being brought before the California legislature that would introduce a new entity: the Flexible Purpose Corporation (FPC). Traditional corporations are obligated to put profitability above all else. The FPC allows corporations more leeway in pursuing “special purposes” or social and environmental missions. To learn more about FPCs, visit Business for Good's FAQ here.