When people decide on starting a business, it is most often either because they want to improve their standard of living or because they’ve stumbled upon an opportunity that seems profitable. But sometimes, some people see a chance to make a positive change in the world.
Such an approach is known as social entrepreneurship and it is becoming more and more popular due to globalization, which makes us wonder what we can do to make the world a better place. It involves mission-based businesses that are dedicated to a particular cause, providing their customers with a sense of purpose with every purchase they make.
In this article, you will learn more about what social entrepreneurship means in practice and how to be a part of it.
Social Entrepreneurship: The definition
There are various broad definitions of the term social entrepreneurship, and this is the simplified one: “combining commerce and social issues in a way that improves the lives of people connected to the cause”.
While the success of other businesses is measured in metrics that only involve profit, the success of social entrepreneurship is measured in metrics that include your impact on people, our planet, and profit.
Social Entrepreneurship: The benefits
Nowadays, social responsibility has become an increasing priority for both businesses and consumers, especially when it comes to international development and climate change.
Reportedly, 91% of consumers expect companies to do their business responsibly while addressing environmental and social issues. This shows that consumers are becoming more aware of the impact their purchase decisions can make.
Although social enterprises have to dedicate a part of their profits to the cause they are involved in, there are some benefits that can help them be successful:
Partnerships – Social enterprises usually partner up with non-profit organizations in order to establish a good reputation and expand their existing audience.
Press – Blogs and publications can make such enterprises succeed by sharing their efforts with the readers.
Branding – Mission-based branding is basically presenting your business in a way that will show your customers that they will feel good about themselves if they purchase from you.
Creating your product and defining your mission
The mission is the primary goal of every social enterprise, but the quality of their products is certainly of great importance as well and shouldn’t be neglected. Both of these can let enterprises stand out in a saturated market, so it’s important to think everything through carefully.
When it comes to your products, they have to be something high quality that will also make your customers feel good and socially aware, as their purchase will be helping to alleviate poverty, cure a disease, or raise environmental awareness.
When it comes to defining a mission, it goes without saying that social enterprises donate a certain amount of their profits to some causes, but it is not the only thing that makes them “social”. They can also focus on:
Organizing workshops and initiatives – to teach people how to establish better lives for their communities and themselves
Cutting down the carbon footprint – by educating their customers about the harmfulness of carbon emissions and by planting trees.
Providing job positions – for ex-convicts for example, or for other people who have difficulties finding a job.
Moreover, the most crucial things for the success of your social enterprise are sustainable impact and transparency. To achieve transparency, you have to visibly demonstrate your integrity and show that you are responsible for your mission and the people supporting it.
After deciding what your mission is going to be, you should implement your plans about making a change and extend your contributions along the way.
To sum up, the world certainly needs more social entrepreneurs and more social entrepreneurship ventures. If you decide to become one of them, not only will you make a difference (no matter how small, it counts), but you will also get a sense of personal accomplishment that only comes when you know you’ve done something to help.