Does the idea of starting and running your own business sound appealing and satisfying? It is only natural to feel that way as the idea of accomplishing and achieving something is empowering.
However, there are a few business owners and entrepreneurs who are bitten by the bug of social engineering. They want to work for society and make it a better place to live in.
But how can an entrepreneur transition into a social enterprise model and benefit both society and themselves? How can social entrepreneurs get started?
In this article, we will learn what social entrepreneurship is really about. We will also talk about the various benefits that it offers and how you can get started.
Social entrepreneurship is not a new concept. It has been with us for decades now. For example, the Red Cross, one non-profit organization we all have heard of. The organization relies highly on government and donations to keep running. Then there are companies which sell products that have the potential of changing the world. For instance, Tesla is one name we can think of here. All the products of this company focus on using clean energy.
In the retail industry, TOMS is a famous footwear brand in North America which follows a one-for-one model. The company donates a pair of footwear to the needy for every pair that is sold.
Benefits of Social Entrepreneurship
In addition to working for a cause, and achieving a sense of satisfaction, there are various ways in which a social enterprise can prove to be useful.
- Funding opportunities: Social enterprises are able to secure their funding much faster. Not only are they able to get better capital, but they also receive various incentives and grants from the government.
- Easy to market and promote: Needless to say, people are able to connect better when you present them with an emotional angle, and this is what a social enterprise equips you with. More often than not, social enterprises have an exciting story to tell, which help lure both the customers and the media. All this helps you in achieving publicity and visibility in the industry.
- Access to a supportive community: Once you are able to get your name in the industry, you will find a lot of people standing with you in your support. This is because social enterprise business community is often supportive and is composed of like-minded individuals.
How to Get Started?
If the entire concept of social entrepreneurship sounds appealing to you, however, don’t know where to start, here is how you can jumpstart:
- Know your issue: Have a cause you want to stand for. Unsure of what moves you? How about volunteering for a month, or working with a non-profit organization to understand the real-world problems
- Work on your brand: Once you have the cause, it is the time to stand for it. Choose the right name, business model, and products that you are going to work on. It is essential to establish your brand in a way that people can trust you.
- Business is business: Even if you are doing it for a noble and social cause, it is important to understand that it’s also a business. Irrespective of whether you run a non-profit, your entire setup and brand must be business-driven so that it can run smoothly without any hiccups.
- Your team is what makes you: You cannot be the jack of all trades. This is why you must invest in the right set of people by hiring those who are skilled in their area. Next, avoid micromanaging and trust that they will do their job the best.
- Be authentic: When you are running a social enterprise it is necessary to stay transparent and authentic. There should be no ambiguities regarding how you make money and where it goes. To keep things streamlined, it is highly recommended to share all the important figures with your staff and customers without hesitation. This will help them establish their trust and will also keep them updated on where their invested money is going.
- Nurture partnerships: Fruitful partnerships are what keep you going. Orient your brand with other similar organizations and work with them. You might host an event together, or co-sponsor an event with your flagship products on display. This helps you to build goodwill in the industry.
- Spread the word: Make use of all the available platforms relevant to your niche to tell your story. From using social media to creating videos and more, it is essential that you maintain your visibility everywhere.
- Determine your model: Last but not least, it is essential to decide the business model your social enterprise will be based on. Some of the different models that you might like to explore include:
- Leveraged non-profit: financial resources are leveraged to take care of the social needs
- Hybrid non-profit: profits made from other business activities are used to fuel the social enterprises and support the cause
- Social business venture: changes are brought into society through social means.
Creating a social entrepreneurship is simple. All you need is the right cause to stand for and the right mindset to make things fall in their place.