How to start a social enterpriseJul 15, 2014
Hi, I'm Shannon Houde, founder and career coach at Walk of Life Consulting.
So what actually is a social enterprise? I look at it as kind of a hybrid between running a startup and all of those challenges and launching an NGO, and you sit in the middle of the two of those. Interestingly enough, Silicon Valley. And a lot of the investments that are happening out there in the market now are being thrown at the social agenda.
One of Facebook's billionaires even launched his own company called Social Plus Capital, where he invests only in social enterprises. And if you get on CrunchBase online, you can see all the different social enterprises that are getting funding in the market. Even Columbia Business School now has its own institute for social enterprise, and you can get fellowships and funding through the likes of Ashoka.
So if you think you want to be a social entrepreneur, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and you have that vision, that passion and that commitment to launching your own business, and you also want to solve a big social problem. Identify first what it is you're great at and what it is you can offer the market that might not already be out there or that you can have a unique offering for. And most importantly is what is that social problem you are going to be solving? So, for me, it was getting the right people into the right roles so that we can advance the sustainability agenda forward at a larger scale.
So if you have that passion for solving that big social problem and entrepreneurial spirit, you can see that there are the resources out there. There's the funding, there's education, there's communities of social entrepreneurs already in the market, market that you can learn from. If you have any questions or need help with writing a business plan or finding your niche in the market, feel free to reach out to me by email. And good luck turning your passion for social change into a reality.