Questions about Social Enterprise


Can anybody shares information about social enterprise? My friend is at a loss to begin a social enterprise. 

  1. Is it true that social enterprise is built on volunteer experts?
  2. Aren’t social enterprise is to give the marginalized job opportunities by earning profit from selling products or services?
  3. How do you tell a person is genuine to help as a partner?

She is confused and aching. And so do I. 

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14 thoughts on “Questions about Social Enterprise

  1. There are some things you need to define for yourself first. Be as specific as possible, especially when your own money is involved.
    1. Mission: what is it you do? what is your reason for existence?
    2. Vision: where do you see yourself in … years and why?
    3. Core strategy: what is the essential strategy of your business entity?
    4. Comprehensive strategy: point three, in full detail, skip nothing!
    5. What is your value proposition and what makes it unique? (See Kotler!)
    6. Based on 1 to 5, what business entity fits best for you? (Think about it!)
    7. When in a start-up, everybody starts at zero. Leadership and vision make the difference.

    Based on the fact that I do not know your friend I can only recommend this: figure out 1 to 5 and rethink everything; each start-up founder has strengths and weaknesses so make personal S.W.O.T.-analyses and divide roles based on the findings; enterprise = business so figure out your business model (profit or non-profit); think business for you need to survive and consult professionals in accounting, finance and law.

    Sorry for the long comment. Based on knowing zero a priori this is all I can add based on personal experience.

    All the best.

    • Thanks a lot. She wants to earn profit and she has done all those. She wants to execute it and has limited finance, human resources and time. Is Crowdfunding a good idea?

      • Crowd funding is an option when you really know what you are doing. Presentation is vital and per platform the terms and conditions are required reading.

        Whatever you do really define your business model to focus on your value proposition. “She wants to earn profit” is still vague. Before trying crowd funding I would suggest presenting and pitching the enterprise to the locals of where you want to start your business. A business plan, good presentation, when possible model/prototype and pitch can go a long way.

        Starting your own business is difficult. Think about every detail and keep in mind that a friendly neighbour can be a great shareholder or partner.

        All the best.

  2. “Why is it vague?” I will explain.

    If you were the potential investor and your money would be on the table you would want to know “what kind of job?”, “why?” and “how?” I am trying to be informative here. It is all about the details and making the chosen business model work.

    Investors want to see how their investment generates a return on interest (R.O.I.) and unspecific expressions like “I want to earn profit” send the wrong signal. Everything you pitch has to be specific, as certain as possible and you believe in it because you make it happen.

    Turn “I want to earn profit” into “my/our enterprise focuses on generating revenues by doing x (insert value proposition) which leads to profits y and z in period a and b. Of these profits we reserve a part for the shareholders, a part for the enterprise reserves and a part for a social fund to give back to society.”

    Do you understand what I mean now? Sound strong, sound confident and adjust your mindset to what your stakeholders and potential investors want to be assured of. I have been through this terrible feedback loop and I had to invest my own money in some projects.

    This is a good start: http://www.bplans.com/sample_business_plans.php

    All the best.

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