I’ve spent more than a decade working with nonprofit leadership, and as a social entrepreneur, something anyone can do. Today’s world needs social entrepreneurship, especially at a time of health, economic, and social stresses. So, if you ever thought about starting a business, this is the time to get going. If we know anything, even the hard times pass, and the world needs innovators more than ever.
Although we have many stressors, including economic hardships, the world remains facing many of the same challenges it did before 2020. For instance, the human race still has to figure out how to combat climate change. For social entrepreneurs, it means pushing consumers to understand what’s at stake, even if they have to get nudged along.
What is social entrepreneurship?
If you’ve ever thought about starting a business, I suggest you look into doing it now. And I would also recommend you think about creating a social enterprise. At its core, social enterprises are not just about profit. Sure, profit is an essential aspect of any business, but with a social enterprise, there’s a bit more to the equation. Aside from making money, social entrepreneurship tests business owners in more significant ways because it’s also about social innovation.
For instance, we know that the human race faces intractable challenges, such as poverty, disease, clean water access, and of course, climate change. Social entrepreneurship means coming up with ideas and solutions that address these challenges by applying market strategies. Think of the social enterprises you know in the U.S. that partner with people in developing nations. Perhaps the U.S. social enterprise sells artisan products, and the profit goes to people in developing countries. Or, maybe concerning the environment, a social enterprise sells products to help fund their environmental work.
When visionary people set up a social enterprise, several positive things happen. For instance, social entrepreneurs create jobs in the U.S. But, they may even provide work opportunities to people in other nations, such as shoe drive fundraisers. Social entrepreneurship means being socially conscious and sustainable. Another benefit of this type of enterprise is the reinvestment of the profits it generates in its communities.
Resources for getting started
During this incredibly challenging time for our nation and the world, as I mentioned earlier, I think that those who believe they can become business owners should. Because the need is great, thinking about making a difference while making money is an excellent opportunity. As the owner of several successful social enterprise brands, there are a few places where you can find out more information.
One of my favorite places to get started understanding social enterprises is with Certified B Corporation. The organization certifies companies that seek to achieve profits with purpose. However, there are several other groups and resources for social enterprise. Those include the following:
- Global Impact Investing Network
- Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
- School for Social Entrepreneurs
Corporate America understands that it has to prioritize not only profits but also a purpose. Moreover, because of the current climate, businesses have to stay with the times. Social entrepreneurship is one way that visionary leaders can create healthy capitalistic opportunities for their communities, people around the world, and yes, even for the environment with sustainability.
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