My expertise is in the civil and public sectors. My focus is on urban renewal, forestry, conservation, climate change, and building an infrastructure for green investment that is not burdened by the uncertainty and high transaction costs that come with pursuing tangible projects through government programs and agendas alone.
Please feel free to suggest books to read! I am seeking broad, practical advice on how to level up as a first-time founder and CEO in the social enterprise sector. Specifically, primers on business administration, marketing, finance, and corporate culture in the 21st Century.
I wish I had some suggestions for you. Unfortunately social enterprises are well outside my area of activity. And the DISCUSS area of CFL isn't likely to offer you great suggestions for that. Your interest is both broad and narrow.
You could easily benefit from many books on startups and entrepreneurship, but I'm going to suggest that you focus mostly on the marketing skills. Because you're looking at an area of business that is so heavily dependent on cooperative effort, it is essential that you make marketing one of your master skills. And I don't mean marketing as in advertising, I mean marketing as in the ability to communicate clearly and in compelling ways.
Here are two authors I recommend diving in deep with: Doug Hall and Seth Godin. While they aren't going to discuss social enterprises, it doesn't really matter. What they are going to teach you is about how to turn ideas into actions and how to get people to pay attention to what you're saying. Those will be critical skills for you.
If the 6 fundamental business skills are marketing, sales, organization, efficiency, leadership, and people, and you know that no business owner ever masters more than two, for your industry, make marketing your number one skill that you pursue. Those aren't the only skills, they're just the fundamental ones.
Also please consider that you may find more success in supporting an existing organization that aligns with your mission, than to create a new enterprise.