by: Finella Kristle Panlilio
Monday, September 22, 2014 |
The great thing about this generation is the strong belief that business can and should be done differently. After decades of profit-driven business models, more and more businesses today not only strive to meet their financial goals, but endeavor to make a positive social impact as well.
If you’re among those determined to develop a business model that would both generate profits and make a real difference in the world, The Guardian highlights five important tips to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
Choose one from three approaches to building a platform. Social entrepreneurship is different from traditional businesses that are structured solely for profit. There are three methods for integrating giving back into your business to choose from: a) donate a percentage of the company profits, b) affiliate with a cause, community, and/or charity and create a product or service that will raise money, or c) start a fundraiser.
Know the role of benefit corporations and business incubators. There are many organizations developed to help make social entrepreneurship more accessible and successful. These organizations provide mentorship, guidance, and financial support. Incubators like Conscious Labs and The Unreasonable Institute are also rising. Do your research and make yourself known.
Start off small scale. To see your idea flourish into a successful venture, you will have to practice a lot of patience. Every entrepreneur, social or not, should know that a new business needs time and space to grow and prosper. Start by building a solid foundation through establishing smaller and more manageable partnerships to learn what works and what doesn’t. In short, partner with organizations that match your scale.
Don’t lose sight of your mission. Making business decisions strictly for the profit potential often leads to failure. Take the mission and your passion into consideration in order to stay on course and attract the right programs, partners, and the publications.
Don’t be discouraged by constant change. Instantly finding a unique proposal that sells is rare. It takes time for business ideas and goals to develop and work out. It may take you several different business models before things fall into place. It takes time, but it’s worth the wait.