Social entrepreneurs are big-hearted personalities who look beyond the pursuit of profit by establishing novel initiatives with the potential to solve community problems. The socially responsible approach focuses more on establishing a business for social good.
Some of the ethical practices brought to the limelight, as a result, include impact investing, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and conscious consumerism.
Successful social entrepreneurs are often celebrated for coming up with bright ideas, products, and services that transform people’s lives. Due to the numerous positive attributes, social entrepreneurship has attracted a lot of public scrutiny, big money, and the very best talents.
Below are four inspiring tips on becoming a successful social entrepreneur:
Operate the non-profit venture as you would a for-profit venture
Some social entrepreneurs are keen on running profit-making businesses while others are not. Whereas the entrepreneur actively works to identify and solve issues facing underserved communities more sustainably, having a business mindset can make a lot of difference.
For starters, you need to invest in a solid business plan that encompasses all the critical aspects of a business, such as accounting, marketing, advertising, and decent staff remuneration and benefits. Piecing these elements together creates a cohesive workforce that drives your agenda. Failure to adhere to the set guidelines could lead to disastrous results, including the risk of being shunned by investors or donors and being seen as not serious.
Be the lightning rod and learn effective ways to communicate
Being an entrepreneur can be challenging work but highly enriching when the efforts begin to pay. The benefits range from the opportunity to set your own schedule to enjoying optimum profitability and decision-making.
For a social entrepreneur, it is essential to learn how to inspire people to differentiate yourself from the typical entrepreneur. One of the most powerful strategies is learning how you communicate success. It would make more sense to say, “The organization came to the aid of Jimmy, who now has shelter and enjoys three meals a day” rather than saying, “We have helped 250 kids in the past year.”
You can share acts of kindness with the community through social media engagement and communal initiatives.
Leverage technology to streamline business operations
Successful social entrepreneurs utilize innovative approaches to advance various causes.
For instance, investing in a reliable communication and data management system for gathering real-time updates can help social entrepreneurs make quick and responsive decisions that will uplift the plight of a community. The retail sector has long enjoyed the benefits of a powerful computer-to-computer information exchange system called Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). The robust platform ensures quick and direct transfer of documents, which translates to speedy logistical timelines and zero errors.
Social entrepreneurs can use the data system to manage human resources, ground operations, business interactions and ensure safe data retrieval and storage, among other benefits.
Keep your job as you practice social entrepreneurship
When building your credentials as a social entrepreneur, learn not to lose focus of the big picture, which is staying financially stable. Entrepreneurs are acutely aware of the high start-up failure rates, so keeping the day job or preoccupation running will help you cover the bills while pursuing your passion.
With a good plan and ground game straight from the onset, the opportunities to scale the business will automatically arise. It is highly advisable to fund the venture sufficiently and allow it to grow organically to achieve more sustainable results.
As a social entrepreneur, you may consider developing an enterprise founded on values that people share and building a social movement that spells change from the bottom to the top.
Build a successful team and work culture
Teamwork is a crucial centerpiece to the success of any business undertaking. For non-profit organizations with limited resources at their disposal, it helps to develop a responsible and impactful strategy. To do this, you need to make sure every component of the project runs smoothly and the target audience is contented with the outcome. Donors also need to be updated on the on-goings.
A well-coordinated team consisting of the management, hired and temporary staff, volunteers, and interns can realize these vital goals. It is often said that culture is more potent than strategy. Through positive teamwork and work culture, an enterprise is bound to enjoy the infusion of new ideas, energy, and invaluable feedback.
The power of social entrepreneurs globally is evident in creating many new employment opportunities, youth emancipation, the growth of start-ups, and increased student enrolment. However, achieving success as a social entrepreneur takes much more than having a purpose-driven idea. A thorough step-by-step plan and personal commitment are necessary.
In today’s information-savvy era, both for-profit and not-for-profit ventures need to invest in vital technological assets to effectively manage information and enhance service delivery.