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SEP 04, 2017 • 4 min read
Launching an impactful social enterprise doesn’t need decades of industry experience, but it does need a real sense of purpose and plenty of energy. If you’re a current student, launching a social enterprise can provide you with a heap of lessons outside of the classroom. An effective social enterprise will have at its core an idea to help shape the world. So, for those of you willing and driven to make the commitment, here are 5 tips on how to launch a social enterprise.
Achieving your dreams and changing the world doesn’t happen overnight, more often than not, success is built over many years and building a successful social enterprise is no different. Take each achievement, no matter how big or small, as a moment to celebrate and then build on that and continue to grow.
Like any business, a successful social enterprise will either solve a problem or fulfil a desire- if you can do both you’ve struck gold. Undertake some research to understand your market and know how you’re planning to fulfil their desire. What is the core problem you’re fixing? Take 19-year-old Georgia Lala’s social enterprise, Root Aquaponics, which made fresh produce and sustainable living in suburban areas accessible and stylish. Her product looked to tackle the problem of not being able to grow fresh produce in suburban areas and it fulfils a desire to eat healthy, clean and fresh food. Her idea formed after moving houses and realising suburbia makes it hard for even the most experienced gardeners to grow fresh produce. She identified a problem and strived to resolve it.
This tip requires little explanation. You must acknowledge and learn from mistakes to avoid making them again. Never take mistakes as a negative, take them as an opportunity to grow and develop.
At the end of the day, launching a social enterprise, like any job, is a time-consuming affair, and why spend time doing something you’re not passionate about? Take inspiration from Alexia Hibertidou, Co-founder of youth-to-youth organisation, GirlBoss NZ, which aims to empower and equip New Zealand girls to become the changemakers of the future, providing them with STEM and entrepreneur related information, events and support to inspire them to dream big and pursue roles within STEM fields. Alexia developed GirlBoss NZ after realising she was the only female in her Year 12 physics and engineering classes. GirlBoss NZ has been successful because of the like-minded passionate and driven people, like Alexia who support it. A social enterprise that isn’t built on passion and drive is destined for failure; which brings me to my next point.
At the core of every social enterprise should be the desire to make the world a better place. What makes a successful social enterprise is the fact it’s supported by passionate, driven, and like-minded people all working towards a common goal of creating a positive social influence.