Entrepreneurs used to be people who had an idea, founded a business, and made money. They created a business plan, submitted it to a bank for funding, and worked tirelessly to scale their company and generate profits for themselves and their investors. However, we are now a startup nation. In reality, we live in a startup world. Entrepreneurs have different reasons for starting a business, just as consumers have other reasons for purchasing. In this post, we'll talk about how we can define social entrepreneur, how it differs from entrepreneurship, and give examples of businesses, organizations, and people who practice it.
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship is all about identifying social problems and bringing about social change through the use of entrepreneurial principles, processes, and operations. It all comes down to conducting research to fully define a specific social problem and then organizing, creating, and managing a social venture to achieve the desired change. A social problem may or may not be completely eliminated as part of the change. It could be a life-long process centered on improving the current situation. Individuals associated with non-profit and non-governmental organizations that raise funds through community events and activities are examples of social entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur vs. Social Entrepreneur
We will first discuss the major differences between a social entrepreneur and an entrepreneur before learning about what is social entrepreneurship. The primary distinction between a social entrepreneur and an entrepreneur is the end goal. The former is more concerned with how their operations benefit communities of interest rather than how they define their success through high-profit margins. Furthermore, some social enterprises may not adhere to traditional organizational structures; they may be run entirely by volunteers who do not receive a salary or by individual contributors who participate in their own initiative. Mutual aid funds, for example, are community-organized. These funds exist to meet a social need and were founded on an entrepreneurial idea, but they are managed by community members who participate as they see fit.
While social entrepreneurship is typically a stand-alone venture, a social entrepreneur can start for-profit businesses that fund social issue programs. Let's look at some real-world examples of small-business social entrepreneurship as well as larger-enterprise social ventures.
Social Entrepreneurship Examples to Inspire You
Here are a few examples to help you understand what is social entrepreneurship. Check out their incredible work and be inspired by it.
Image is taken from Transanta
TranSanta is a unique community-led social entrepreneurship venture that runs an Instagram account featuring stories from transgender youth in need, among the examples shown here. The beneficiaries' organization creates target wish lists of items they require, and interested community members can anonymously purchase and send them what they require.
Image is taken from Booktoprisoners
This is one of the best social entrepreneurship examples. Books To Prisoners is a traditional non-profit organization in Seattle, Washington, that aims to break the cycle of recidivism in the prison system. They accept book donations from community members and established bookstores, which are then repackaged and delivered to incarcerated people. Money earned from the business is used to cover operational expenses such as renting office space and purchasing mailing supplies.
3. Cracked It
Image is taken from Crackedit
Crackedit is a smartphone repair company based in London that employs 'at risk' and formerly incarcerated youth. Their goal is to teach life skills and provide employment and income opportunities to members of the community who are generally looked down on and dismissed by society.
Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website
This is an excellent illustration of what is social entrepreneurship. The Mark and Trina Ramsey Foundation was founded to inspire those in need worldwide by addressing fundamental health and wellness, education, and life skills development. They run programs that help local communities by constructing wells and providing food, clothing, schools, supplies, formal education, and long-term life skills training for children and adults.
Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website
NOMAD, which was founded in 2016, is one of the most effective social entrepreneurship examples. It is a social enterprise that gives rural artisans in Asia, such as those in Roopsi Village, more opportunities to empower themselves. Their business model is based on a sustainable platform that allows them to market their products to a larger audience, putting them in a better position to improve the lives of those they care about. A portion of the proceeds from product sales is also used to support a local school that educates underprivileged children in the community.
What is the Process of Becoming a Social Entrepreneur?
Knowing what is social entrepreneurship is the first step toward achieving your goal of becoming a social entrepreneur. To make the process easier, we've compiled a list of simple points that will help you on your way to social entrepreneurship.
∙ Determine Your Goal
The purpose of the business is the first thing you need to know before embarking on your journey. Your business plan should be built around a social issue and address questions such as what pain points your social entrepreneur business is specifically addressing and how it will make a difference in the current situation. Identifying your target group's pain points is an excellent place to start. Then, describe how your business service or product will address these pain points for this demographic. Consider your strengths, core competencies, professional skills, and the resources you will require to complete your mission.
∙ Conduct Field Research
After determining your purpose and target audience, you must conduct extensive research on the social business landscape in which you wish to work. Discover who the major players are and how they are influencing the world. Inspiration is beneficial to your business. You don't have to be afraid to incorporate modern ideas and enrich them with your social philosophy. In short, you can borrow ideas from other social entrepreneurs while developing your own distinct purpose-driven offering. Consider looking into trade associations that specialize in social entrepreneurship. Learn about the people in this group, their interests, and the types of social enterprises they run. This should be fairly simple once you understand what social entrepreneurship is. This is where you define your social entrepreneur cause and explain how your company differs from the competition to investors and shareholders. Make the action plan as clear as possible and as unique as possible.
∙ Gather Feedback and Support
This is a critical step in figuring out what is social entrepreneurship all about. You cannot construct your concept on your own. Who better to get input from than people who are actively involved in social activism or are integral parts of NGOs, especially when tackling a social issue? You'll need all the help you can get, so don't be afraid to approach anyone, even if they're your competitor. Along the way, try to gather supporters for your idea. These could be collaborators you met while researching the field, members of relevant trade associations you investigated, or even like-minded souls looking to make a difference. These people can be extremely useful in various stages of your social business.
∙ Create a Business Model
Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website
To establish your business, you must first create a plan for how your company will make money. This is your business strategy. This is the section in which you consider the operational aspects of your business. Where do you want your services or products to go? How many employees will you require to execute your business plan? What percentage of the total population do you intend to serve with your company? You must answer these questions and determine how much money the social enterprise needs to generate to support your mission, pay for itself, pay you and anyone you might hire, and possibly expand. You must also decide on the specific type of business model that will lead to the desired revenue generation.
∙ Determine the Initial Funding Sources
If you believe you can simply learn what is social entrepreneurship and start your business with a great idea, you may want to reconsider one major step - obtaining funding for your business. So do your homework thoroughly to determine where you'll get seed funding, where you'll get the funding you need to launch, and what to do to get it. Even if you cannot find a sponsor, you have many options. You can look for a traditional business loan or join an impact investing group, which only funds purpose-driven businesses. You could even crowdfund your social enterprise. If you are already well-known and successful as a startup social venture and have a large mailing list or e-newsletter subscriber base.
∙ Create a Plan of Action
Understanding what social entrepreneurship is and the technicalities required to set up your business is only one side of the story. An action plan differs from a business plan in that it specifies the tasks and actions to be completed and by when. It provides you with a timeline to determine when you want to launch your social venture and how long it will take you to get there. Though it may appear unnecessary, an action plan can help you organize your time. You'll know where your business is going and how it's doing if you build it around your annual, monthly, weekly, daily, and even hourly entrepreneurial goals. This is especially important when you're starting from scratch and have no external accountability. It can help you stay on track and meet your objectives on time.
Methods for Assisting the Social Entrepreneur in Your Life
Now that you know what is social entrepreneurship, here are a few things to keep in mind as you interact with your entrepreneurial, innovative family member this holiday season – or at any time.
a. Be Uplifting
Social entrepreneurship is difficult. Your loved one is invested in their daily work, both professionally and personally. With the constant ups and downs of being a founder, many days can be discouraging, leaving many entrepreneurs ready to give up. Above all, be supportive of the entrepreneur in your life. You don't need to be a business expert to remind your loved ones that they are valued, loved, and doing their best. On difficult days, these words will go a long way.
b. Pose Questions
Social entrepreneurs are a driven breed. Nothing means more to us at times than asking questions about our organization, our progress, or the social issue we're addressing. Our work keeps us awake at night, so allowing us to share more about what we're up to can make us feel validated and supported.
c. Do Not Inquire About Money
There is no money in entrepreneurship when you first start out, whether you are a social impact warrior or a tech entrepreneur. Not all family members understand this, and some may be perplexed as to why you left your well-paying full-time job to help others. Don't go into the situation expecting your family to understand this entrepreneurial risk. Also, keep in mind that your entrepreneurial family member is not in it for the money. They want to make a difference, and maturing into a new organization requires sacrifice and risk.
d. Contribute to or Support their Organization
Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website
It's comforting to know that we have the support of our families and close friends when we embark on a fundraising campaign. Even if you only pledge $5 per month, you're involved and believe in our work enough to invest financially. It will make a difference, regardless of the amount.
e. Act as an Advocate
You can become an advocate for their work once you understand what is social entrepreneurship. When you become one, you help them understand the impact they're having and how their work is igniting the passion and curiosity of others. You can let them know if you'd like to work with them, whether as a volunteer or a cheerleader. They'll almost certainly have suggestions for ways you can help, and you'll enjoy the experience of giving back.
f. Keep the Entrepreneurial Journey in Mind
It may seem counterintuitive, but social entrepreneurs will often go to any length to advance the cause they care about. Entrepreneurs will face days that will make you wonder why they haven't given up. And while you may want to tell them it's time to leave out of love, remember that this is all part of the entrepreneurial process.
Strikingly is a Great Place to Learn What is Social Entrepreneurship
Engaging in social entrepreneurship is easier when you know who to turn to. You must know how to gather your audience to make your goal more attainable and persuade others to follow in your footsteps. Is there a way to do that? Create a website for your social enterprise.
Strikingly is a website builder geared towards social movements. As a website user, you can persuade others to do what you want and express your feelings through each website you design and create. If you truly want to do nothing but help your beloved country, you should start designing your website with Strikingly.