There are countless ways to help the world overcome its many issues in health, education, and social and environmental justice. You can commit to volunteer work until the end of time. But you hesitate because you also need to earn a living.
That’s been the struggle for many of us. You want to help the world. But you also need to put food on the table. You’re paying for your house. You’re saving for your kids’ college.
But there is a way to help save the world while still maintaining financial stability. And that is becoming a social entrepreneur.
What Is Social Entrepreneurship
These days, social entrepreneurship is a bit of a buzzword. It’s been popular because of people’s growing interest in making the world a better place through innovative business ideas. You might find it appealing because of the inspiring stories and innovative ideas of social entrepreneurs. Such things bring them the Nobel Peace Prize, which was the case for Muhammad Yunus. Who knew that a banker and economist could become a Nobel Peace Prize laureate?
But social entrepreneurship is more than just inspiring stories and innovative ideas for business. At its core, it’s driven by social change. It’s about how it can transform communities for the better by overcoming certain challenges. It aims for a long-lasting payoff that truly makes the world a better place through entrepreneurship. It starts and ends with the balance between social change and entrepreneurship.
Remember the Impact You’re Aiming For
The first step to becoming a social entrepreneur is identifying and understanding your advocacies. What are you passionate about? This could be rooted in your upbringing. Perhaps you grew up on a ranch where beloved animals surrounded you. When you grew up, you realized the challenges that animals face. And now you want to fight for animal rights and welfare.
Your advocacy could also be rooted in everyday life as an adult. Perhaps you’re a kindergarten teacher to children from low-income families. You feel that you could do so much more for them apart from teaching. You want to help them get more books and other educational resources.
These are the types of advocacies that you may have. When you start your business, it’s good to understand them because they will be the fuel that would keep your business alive. It’s the passion behind every decision and activity that you do as a social entrepreneur.
Always Keep the Business in Mind
After identifying your advocacy, you have to start thinking about what your business does. What is your unique selling point (USP)? What will help you compete against fellow social enterprises, but also nonprofit and for-profit businesses?
Once you figure out your USP, build a business plan, and get your business off the ground, the business owner in you will still be crucial. You always have to think of ways to generate revenue while also thinking about the positive impact you’re making on the world. You have to keep your business alive so that you could continue contributing to the social sector.
Build a Team with Shared Passions and Values
When it comes to a business with a strong social advocacy, it’s always good to build a team passionate about the work. You need to find the right people whose passions align with yours. This way, they would always be motivated to help the company. They would always understand the importance of your work.
It doesn’t matter if they’re doing administrative work. It also doesn’t matter if they’re doing outsourced bookkeeping services to small businesses. It’s always good to work with people who share your passions.
Finding Partnerships with Established Businesses
Fundraising is an essential part of being a social entrepreneurship. Although you’re generating revenue through your business, it’s also good if you’re applying for funding from various partners.
But, of course, fundraising doesn’t merely entail asking for funding from established businesses. You also have to find the businesses with a mission that aligns with yours. For example, if you’re advocating for women’s empowerment, then you might find a for-profit business that caters to women and offers grants.
It’ll be good to keep in mind, though, the competition in fundraising is fierce. You’re also competing with non-profits around the world, not only fellow social enterprises.
With all of the issues plaguing the world, you can’t help but want to make it better. You want to do something to overcome challenges with health safety. You want to stop climate change. You want to end poverty in the most under-resourced places in the world. You want to help women and girls get a college degree and build sustainable careers.
Social entrepreneurship may be the way for you to do those things. It ensures that you’re always able to earn a living, pay your employees, and expand your business to make even more impact.