Social Entrepreneurship is a concept that has recently gained popularity as people are realizing they can align their passion with entrepreneurship and increase their likelihood to succeed. Based on my experience, these are the top three tips that apply whether you work for a company or are starting your own venture.
1. Know your mission, values and vision. This seems like a simple thing but many people starting businesses forget this step and people working in companies definitely struggle with this. Having your mission, vision and values posted and present for all is very important. The mission should focus on the solution and how you plan to work to achieve your goals. For example:
EcoTech Visions mission is to get green manufacturers investment ready. We equip resource-limited entrepreneurs with tools to successfully plan, launch, market, and grow green manufacturing businesses that create jobs, sustain communities, and protect the planet. Our programs aim to harness and build the skills and assets of individuals in low-income communities to break the cycle of poverty and create sustainable development.
Stamina, Creativity, and Resilience are three values that are crucial to achieve our mission.
The vision of EcoTech is to help create a world where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential and where businesses produce valuable products while taking their responsibility to protect the basic foundations that sustain their businesses and humanity.
2. Find ways to use your mission to grow profit: non-profits focus on growing their mission while for-profit organizations focus on growing their bank account. As a social entrepreneur, you get to find ways to do both. The goal is to create self-sufficiency for the organization. Social Entrepreneurs can work for for-profit organizations or non-profits. You can also start or work for a Bcorp (benefit corporation) which is a for profit who has some of the tax-exempt benefits of a non profit.
3. Support with finding resources! The first job of every entrepreneur is to find support with raising capital. Social entrepreneurial ventures have great sources of money looking for them! Great sources of funding exist for social entrepreneurs and most companies need money whether you are starting a venture or helping to grow a vision as an employee. In short, all businesses need money to grow. There are growing collections of Venture philanthropy organizations and impact investors looking for your businesses. Reaching out and sharing the vision and mission of your organization will make you a valued employee and a true social entrepreneur.