In a previous post, I wrote about ‘non-profit’ minded individuals who feel they have a ‘calling’ to make a difference in our society. A majority of them take part in solving society problems either through an existing charity organisation or establishing their own non-profitable organisations. Unlike with charity organisations, social entrepreneurs may use various organisations’ models which are either non-profit, for-profit or hybrid. A notable element about social entrepreneurs, is their ability to exercise their entrepreneurial spirit by providing innovative solutions to social problems, contribute to the betterment of humanity as well as making profits.
(Find out what who a social entrepreneur is and what social entrepreneurship is all about here)
Social entrepreneurship is not primarily about making money. It’s about prioritising and making social impact a core business and then building a business model around it. With this in mind, an organisation can generate revenues and still have significant sustainable benefits for the society.
So how do you get started off as a social entrepreneur?
Roughly, to get started off as a social entrepreneur it is important to identify and understand the specific type of problem that you would like to solve. Similar to traditional entrepreneurship, you may want to consider your passion, talent and the set of skills that might be of benefit to solve that particular problem. I like to emphasise on the importance of understanding the problem you would like to solve as it helps you to come up with solutions or ideas on how to approach and solve that particular issue. You might then decide on whether to establish your own social enterprise or get involved with a social enterprise that already exists within your community. (if there be any)
So how do you identify a problem you would like to solve?
Find out if there is an organization in your community that is already addressing that particular issue that concerns you and volunteer your time working there. This will help you to understand the problem deeper and you will get the chance to know the different approaches to address that particular problem. Do you need help in finding volunteer opportunities? Depending on your location, you might want to check out the following VolunteerMatch or Idealist
Enquire about the problem from individuals
Depending on the situation and the problem, sometimes it helps to have a conversation and talk to individuals who are familiar with the situation, either because they are facing or have faced that particular problem you would like to help solve.
The obvious ways may be through radio, local newspapers, watching news, social media and latest headlines hitting our television screens especially about the global political problems and natural disasters. You can always pay keen attention about a problem you care to solve and find out how you can help.
Your personal experience
Have you ever faced a problem and did not know how to solve it and wished someone came to your rescue at that particular time? These problems could range from anything to education, Poverty, hunger, Transport, health, homelessness, wildlife?
Find out more information about Innovators and social entrepreneuers solving social problems here
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