What is Social Entrepreneurship ?
Social entrepreneurship is a process , By which Innovative Initiatives are taken by the start -up , entrepreneurs , companies to solve social problems , such as poverty ,illness, illiteracy ,environmental destruction ,human rights abuses and corruption , in order to make life better for many. main objective of profit based entrepreneurs are to generate revenue and profit gain , whereas social entrepreneurs are cause driven with entrepreneurial mindset . social entrepreneurs keep long – term road map for their social goal , they practice hybrid model that uses business solutions to make an impact on the world.
How to become a social entrepreneur ?
social entrepreneurs create innovative solutions to tackle social problems .these entrepreneurs maximize social value instead of profit , they place social mission to the center of their business activities . they are so passionate about making a difference.
to succeed as a social entrepreneur , you need to have great purpose driven business idea . you need to have a clear road map for your journey .
Here are ten practical , actionable steps to become a successful social entrepreneur .
- Developing the skills
- Identify the problem and research the field
- Aim to run things like business
- Make a team for support and feedback
- Develop your business model
- Initial investment funding
- Brand your enterprise
- Use information technology
- Be transparent with consumers
- Remember your mission
1. Developing the skills
- grabbing opportunities to develop your social intelligence : any experience you can get that build social intelligence will help you in your journey . look for those internship or fellowship programs who give you opportunity to work on ground level , on grass root level you will get to interact with people , you will get to know the real problems of people .
- expand your creativity : social entrepreneurs have to be creative. try to find innovative ways to function charities and non profits to maximize donations and implement action .
- gain leadership experience: leadership is the key for any position of entrepreneur . try to find opportunities where you could lead.
2. Identify a problem & Research the field
- start by deciding precisely who you want to serve and exactly where and how you want to serve . be clear about the problem which you would like to solve .figure out where to focus your energy , think about what is important for you , there are many issues in the world , such as poverty , pollution , that need to be addressed, you must not start solving any problem , which you read , heard somewhere, you must not have preconceived ideas , firstly you have to go on grass -root level ,you have to live that problem , try to interact with victims , those who have been facing problems.
- for example , when social entrepreneur muhammad yunus had started lending to poor people , firstly he had lived with poor people , he had tried to find the real cause of poverty , then he realized that poor people are compelled to borrow money from ” loan sharks” , then he had founded “grameen bank ” which lend to poor people without guarantee ,without collateral.
- so try to identify problem and after doing research on it and figure -out the cause of it.
3. Aim to run things like business
- your business is not charity , it has to recover its full costs while achieving its social objective , when you are running a business , you think differently and work differently than when you are running a charity .you don’t have to rely on charitable donations ,foundation grants or government support to implement programs.
- Social entrepreneur muhammad yunus says “a social business is designed and operated as a business enterprise with products ,services ,customers , markets ,expenses and revenues but with the profit -maximization principle replaced by the social -benefit principle ,the social business seeks to achieve a social objective”.
4.Make a team for support and feedback
- you need to understand that you can not achieve your social goal alone , you must have dedicated team , look to people already in your life and career who you consider to be trusted , they may be some of the competitors and collaborates you came across when researching the field or they could be like minded souls who want to make a difference, too.
remember that your team members likely have good intentions and want to see you succeed.
5.Develop your business model
- how your enterprise is going to make money , your business model will be the roadmap of it . you need to decide how far you want your services and products to reach . if you want to expand to make big impact , decide exactly how much money you need for your enterprise to support your mission .
- your business model must be like that ,any profit it earns does not go to those who invest in it, your business might be defined as a non loss, non-dividend business , rather than being passed on to investors ,the surplus generated by the enterprise is reinvested in the enterprise.
6. Initial investment or funding
- initially , to get funding is hard nut to crack , you will have to decide that you would take loan or invest your savings or get money by crowdfunding but after sometime when you would be creating more social benefits for poor people in early stage then why would investors not put their money into your enterprise ?
- first , people will invest because of personal satisfaction they would get from philanthropy. the many billions of dollars that people around the world donate in charity ,it means they are having hunger to donate money so why they would not invest in your enterprise which is working for more and more social benefits of people.
- second , investors in a social business get their money back , they can reinvest in the same or a different enterprise.
7. Brand your enterprise
you are running a social enterprise but branding of it is very important . profit based companies work very hard on establishing a brand to get consumers attention , so you will have to do branding and make ensure to people, how can you differentiate yourself from other charities ? what makes your cause unique ?
- you will have to reach to people if you really want expansion of your enterprise. you will have to create emotional connections with consumers use things like videos and images.
8. Use information technology
- there are many brilliant ,idealistic people in the world who would like to devote their time, energy and talent to finding ways of using information technology to fulfill your enterprise social objective.
- to get funding , hiring of people , marketing of enterprise, you can find people and organizations to causes similar to yours , in many works you can take advantage of technology.
9. Be transparent with consumers
if investors know exactly where their money is going , operate from a place of honesty and transparency . this will help you gain more support .tell people all about your cause , have a section on your website highlights your belief and what you are trying to accomplish, share specific statistics and milestones .
10. Remember your mission
becoming any kind of entrepreneur can be stressful at times , you may have some bad days and there will be failures along the way , if you feel lost , remember your cause , recall why you got involved to begin with , remembering your cause will help you stay on track.