Start your own enterprise to deal with real-world problems and working on social causes is the first step of social entrepreneurship to build a better society. Getting working at the grassroots level or within the community to bring about some positive changes. Recently, I visited a group of social enterprises to understand the pattern. With the help of that experience, I have prepared an ultimate guide to help you become a social entrepreneur.
I have mentioned the steps for you to follow in advance. Broadly, before taking the initial steps as a social entrepreneur, you need to meet the resources, necessary and legal requirements. To illustrate each key point, I took the example of creating a social enterprise for handicraft artisans. It will help you understand everything in a better way.
So here is the step-by- step guide to start your social venture.
Ultimate Guide to Start your Social Venture.
1. Define your audience.
First, identify the real audience who will enjoy the services of your social enterprise provides. Take the account of people who are constantly suffering from a problem you are trying to solve, depending on the group and community.
For just one example, if your idea is to help a community of tribal artisans work in a handicraft sector, then you need to visit them to get a deeper understanding of the problem. Then schedule your time to collect details from NGOs, Social Entrepreneurs, Tribal Youth, Academic Researchers, Designers. With that in-depth information, you can easily strengthen the mission and the vision of the organization.
Attract people by showcase the creativity of artisans. It will create a trust between the artisans and your organization. In addition, it will tell them how your social enterprise is providing a better platform for the betterment of the community of tribal artisans.
2. Define your aim.
This is always an important point to remember. It is necessary to define the purpose of an organization. It helps motivate and encourage members of the organization, even in critical situations. A sole purpose is the only way to build trust among the people working under the organization, and for whom you have started this venture.
Note down some points to keep in mind while writing the goal:
1. What is the main goal of starting your own social venture?
2. What is the purpose behind it?
3. What impact do you want to see?
4. Find out the real cause and solution.
Just like that, the real challenges facing tribal artisans are reaching the right audience and finding a market to sell products that have been produced after spending countless hours by the artisans.
In India, people still prefer to buy ready-made goods or, say, well-engineered machine accessories. But in the rural part of India, where people have opted to earn money only by selling handicrafts. Therefore, the main goal of the organization is to promote handicrafts nationwide and market through all methods like online marketing, social media marketing, etc.
3. Meet the Stakeholders.
Before starting a business or venture, it is better to meet people who can help you prepare well: existing social entrepreneurs, community artisans, local people, friends and social workers. This activity can provide an approach to strengthen your idea. Whenever you meet people, ask questions from the list given below to get an overview of the concept.
To understand the reason with a perspective, I mentioned an example for you to understand.
For example:- If you are meeting artisans, general questions would be like:
1. Which craft do you like the most?
2. What are your children doing?
3. Do you like to travel?
Having a basic understanding with stakeholders, you can ask more detailed questions to find out their hopes, fears and ambitions in life. This will help to get closer to the lives of stakeholders and enough ideas to solve whatever problem they are facing.
1. How would you like to spend money if you earn more?
2. When did you learn this art?
3. Do you want to involve your children in these businesses? Why?
4. Who has supported you so far in your community?
5. Have you ever felt leaving your business? Why?
6. What are the things about your art that makes you feel proud and happy?
It’s also important to learn from the experts (designers, researchers) of this field.
4. Define Vision, Mission And Values
Key statements to define and clear the direction of your organization. Powerful mission and vision is important to guide not only the company owners but also the employees.
Vision: In one sentence, Describe the world “what your venture seeks to create?”.
Example: We want to create a global platform to support grassroots artisans and bring a positive change in the society.
Mission: How will your organization create the world that you envision? Write your mission statement in 1-3 sentences. Remember: good mission statements are memorable, manageable, measurable, and motivational.
Example: Our mission is to support 100 rural artisans and create livelihood opportunities for 100 rural youth and women by 2020.
Core Values: How would you like your team to behave and decide? List at least four core values you believe will guide your team’s behavior.
Example: Always listen to the beneficiaries carefully, Be helpful, Be innovative, Take initiative.
5. Defined Goals
Current condition (What is the problem you will fix?): Helping grassroots organization, artisans, rural communities (youth and women)
Activities (What action your venture will take to overcome these problems?): Responsible tourism and exhibitions to promote different arts, handicraft training for rural youth and women, promoting handicrafts online.
Outputs (What are the outputs you want to see?): Self-sustaining option for artisans, creating livelihood opportunities for rural youth and women.
Immediate Outcomes (What immediate you can achieve?): Likely, Promote handicraft arts and spread awareness of their work in different regions and countries using digital technology.
Intermediate Outcomes (What are the intermediate goals your organization wants to achieve awhile?): Train other local community or rural youth and women to empower them for future.
Impact Goals (What are the positive changes you want to see): Help rural artisans, save handicraft artwork, and also create livelihood opportunities for rural youth and women.
Revenue Generation (Revenue Models to sustain in a long run): Example: generate revenue by selling through tourism and exhibition fairs.
If you have will-power and determination to serve the people of your country and solve a difficult issue, then being a social entrepreneur could be a right path for you. Before that, take my one advice. Being an entrepreneur is not about money, it’s about many.
Hope this article is useful for you. Share it with your family and friends who dream of starting a social enterprise. Give your valuable feedback and you can also tell if there is any point which we missed here.