Social entrepreneurship for-profit is the process of developing profitable business opportunities with the intent of doing social good. In other words, the innovative ideas developed by successful social entrepreneurs profit while making a positive impact on social issues, their community, or the environment. The impact of social entrepreneurs creating positive change is strongly desired and helpful to both the economy and society.
Social entrepreneurship is sometimes referred to as social enterprise. In broad terms it includes for-profit, nonprofits, and civic-minded individuals who seek funding according to their business model for the purpose of providing social returns.
Most entrepreneurs – especially young entrepreneurs – must earn money to cover their living expenses plus personal needs and desires. Using your brilliance to create social change and transform a portion of our world into something better or more productive while taking care of yourself makes sense – and cents.
Youth unemployment and difficulty in building sustainable, worthwhile career paths are issues so do know your desire to create a social impact does not need to come at the expense of home ownership or financial viability.
Though it is sometimes possible to earn a salary in a non-profit organization, and a civic minded entrepreneur can also hold a second job, we consider the for-profit model a very positive option. Social entrepreneurs assume corporate social responsibility, help our local economy, and impact the environment or underserved.
An entrepreneurial social for-profit company blends the best of both worlds. It allows the entrepreneur to profit without needing another source of personal income, while solving social or environmental issues that governments cannot or will not solve due to internal or external limitations.
As much as they are ethically sound, the intention of the business is absolutely to turn a profit while doing good, and there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make you “less good,” it’s actually wise. You create an economic impact and create jobs while creating social value. To achieve long-term sustainability the need to profit must outweigh the sum given back.
TOMS was well known for being socially good from inception. Since pioneering the One for One model and giving away 1 pair of shoes for every pair purchased, they have directly impacted over 100 million people. Pretty special.
They accomplished this and continue to remain viable, expand job creation, and make positive social change using a for-profit model.
Social good can take many forms:
- donated product
- donated service
- donated service time from employees
- donated profits to perform a service or help
- utilizing a sustainable process vs. a cheaper approach
- recycling material in your process
- creating a product or service by upcycling
- your dream for social innovation
You passion can be used to help in countless ways.
Advantages to being a social entrepreneur:
* You feel amazing as a result of working towards your social mission and genuinely helping.
* You maintain control over your organization’s growth and direction.
* The extensive, tedious non-profit paperwork requirements and processing time are eliminated.
* You eliminate public scrutiny and opinion and pressure over salaries, fund disbursement and timing.
Disadvantages of being a social entrepreneur:
* You still face the possibility of being misunderstood as a for-profit organization, though any backlash over profitability should be easily managed by your transparency as a for-profit company.
* Your funding is created by sales not through grant approval.
* Your self-sustaining model requires you to go to work every day.
* The future direction is up to you.
Hmmm…. Perhaps these are not disadvantages?
Social entrepreneurship & social responsibility.
6 reasons why social entrepreneurs make the world a better place:
1.) Society – You successfully take on societal causes where government needs assistance, or that are changeable in nature and require the ability to make swift decisions or changes to how your funds are directed.
2.) Local community – You help even the smallest of causes or choose to make a huge difference in a local community.
3.) Environment – Similarly, you participate in large or small environmental causes as the leader or team participant.
4.) Economic – Job creation is one of many economic contributions your successful business makes.
5.) Foster innovation – As a for-profit business, you use your power and ability to change course and change your focus as needed to grow your business and meet the swiftest changing needs of your cause.
6.) Moving mountains – You have the power to inspire massive change, by acting as a spark, proving your idea, and showing others how it can be done. It takes a lot to gain government involvement or create change at those levels, but your efforts have that kind of power.
Becoming a social entrepreneur takes more than just dreaming about changing the world. It takes resilience, hard work, and creativity, but it’s worth every bit of effort.
How to become a social entrepreneur
Well the good news is it is quite practical, and no different than any other type of entrepreneurial business as far as development.
It requires a grand idea, a well thought out plan, and your incredible commitment.
As you inspire others, you need to always remember it’s a business and treat it as such.
Start out with your “why.”
What is your concept? What do you want to accomplish? Think small-scale to get yourself started.
These thoughts become your mission statement and your vision.
How can you this turn into a profitable business?
You can’t give away what you can’t pay for right? You also can’t help others without a place to live and supporting yourself.
This conversation gets into what you know, and you’ll make some assumptions. You need to calculate your cost of production and assess your risk.
What is your time commitment?
You are starting out with no profit and no salary. Without funds to invest and get you by, you may be 100% in the red.
So – What are your options? Do you need to go all in? Do you have the ability to do so? Can you keep a primary job and start this part-time?
Build your business plan.
It’s not a scary concept. It’s not homework.
Your business plan is your blueprint.
You are already preplanning and building your executive summary and opportunity (which contains your vision and mission).
You are farther along than you think!
- Executive summary
- Target Market
- Sales & Marketing
- Financial Plan
If you are thinking along these lines, your entrepreneurial spirit is already making the world a better place. Get ready to turn those ideas into your reality. Get ready to be the one making a difference. You got this.