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Social Entrepreneurship - Ultimate Escape for Profit Seekers
Any entrepreneurship researches and pools show the same outcome – in order to sell your product or service you should be liked by the customers. If they like your company and your product – your business will be successful. Seems to be a hard task to gain both of this? Not at all! Social entrepreneurship is probably the ultimate tool to gain customer support for your company and your product.
 
In theory, Social Entrepreneurship is a use of entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to achieve a desired social change. While a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a Social Entrepreneur is also measuring positive returns to society. It is crucial to focus on the word also in the latter sentence, because Social Entrepreneurship is made to give profit. Profit and even more! Also, Social Entrepreneurs are commonly associated with the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors, but this doesn’t mean that it precludes from making profit, it does pay salaries for its employees, taxes to government and municipality, invests into equipment and machinery, etc.
 

Why should you be social while running your business?
 

Coming back to main goal of the business – how to make customers to like your company and your product/service? With social attitude you always care about something around you – be it your community, town or city, region or country. And indeed, you can only care properly about something if you know it good and recognize that you can somehow help and contribute to that issue. The concept of Social Entrepreneurship tells that good Social Entrepreneur recognizes social problem in the environment closest of his/her. Where he/she knows what best solutions can be adopted in order to have the biggest positive impact. Where he/she strongly believes and trusts in his efforts to achieve social change. Where there are not only customers, but also beneficiaries. Where the activities he/she is doing come together in line with his/her values and attitudes.
 
Put all the mentioned – values, attitude, belief, trust and best solutions – together into one action and you will receive perfect product/service for the market. And what happens next? With good product, which is recognized by your customers and rest of the society, which is bringing not only direct benefit but also benefit to society, you will gain customer loyalty, respect, free and irresistible mouth-to-mouth marketing and communication, growing clientele and profit. Your company will position as socially responsible, mature and leading with solicitude for customers. Does it sound tempting?
 
Why not to be profitable at the same time?
 
It is quite out-dated attitude to think if you are running social responsible business you are making less profit than your counterparts that runs business without carrying about others around. Social Entrepreneurship concept offers you the same business dimensions - assuring that your business produces and sells the product/service at prime cost plus your desirable profit margin. In this concept you anyway are managing your funding, finance management, human resources, marketing and communication, sales, etc. It is business, and being a Social Entrepreneur you shouldn’t forget this. It is a challenge, but only leaders are able to do that! Are you a leader? Are you ready to have customer loyalty, respect, free and irresistible mouth-to-mouth marketing and communication, growing clientele and profit?
 
Initiatives to discover Social Entrepreneurship Leaders next to you
 
On 15-22 October, 2012, 30 young people, representing different youth organization, coming from 11 different countries (Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Turkey, Ukraine and Armenia), from rural and urban areas gathered in Cosnita, near Chisinau (Republic of Moldova) to an international training course on Social Entrepreneurship: “A CreACTive Approach for a Better World”. The course was planned and organized by a Lithuanian NGO My Tutor, working in field of education, human rights and social entrepreneurship in cooperation with local NGO Youth Generation from Moldova.
 
This training course was aiming to explore the concept of Social Entrepreneurship as an innovative way to solve social problems using entrepreneurial skills and youth voice. In short – during the training course young and active people were developing their entrepreneurial skills to run successful and profitable social enterprise. They came up with a Dream, and on top of that during the workshop participants developed commonly agreed values and understood the relevance and the advantages of taking personal responsibilities, became aware of the deadlines, group work, cooperation, fundraising, time lines and many more everything from A to Z that is required to start and run successful social enterprise.
 
New creACTive leaders were building sustainability in their big business idea. Some of them became risk takers and some of them got aware of risks to avoid. But all of them took courage to make mistakes and find solutions, inspire others, predict and evaluate the impact of their efforts. All participants discovered that trust, open mind, visionary, discipline and excellence would help them to develop proper mission, vision, set of values, strategy, and product of a Social Enterprise. All participants deepened their knowledge in drawing organizational diagrams, setting together tasks and processes with responsibilities and deadlines (Gantt Chart), analysing their main product, inventory, needed logistics, a set of key messages for all the stakeholders and the channels that will be used, writing down a fundraising plan and financial plan, a sales strategy for at least one year, and listing human resources needs.
 
Making the Dream a reality 
 
With all refreshed, improved and gained skills participants came up with 11 (yes, yes - eleven) incredible projects ideas and plans, which are ready to be implemented, which are ready to make profit and which are ready to solve social issues.
 
The creACTive people thought BIG and started to make their Dream to become a reality with the following projects: Club of the Amateurs of Marketing and Advertising “Marketing Club for Young Specialists in Marketing and Advertising” (Belarus); On-line international platform, where artistic items made from garbage and trash will be re-used and designed for sell - “GarbARTure” (Spain and Poland); “Coffee-bibliotheque” – employing and taking care of non/less-educated and single women to feel integrated and comfortable (Armenia); “Carpe Diem” - employment assistance of people with disabilities in Ukrainian companies; “Tourism for Health” - eco-tourism and eco-harvesting to provide healthy food and create useful workshops for disadvantaged part of the society (orphan kids) in Lithuania and Armenia; “Eat Healthy – Live Healthy” healthy vegetarian food factory and healthy life promotion for the population of Georgia; Exhibition and public events entrepreneurship for children from socially in-advanced families – “Make them smile” (Turkey); Sale of second-hand items with a story to tell - “Your Old Treasure Brings Me Pleasure!” (Ukraine); Young people of the Pyrenees region united for the adventure sports service supply – “NIS Adventure Alt Urgell” (Catalonia, Spain); Audio books and paintings to the world from blind people community – “White cane Art” (Lithuania); Out-of-jail re-integrated persons wine and agriculture products in former mafia farms and residences in Italy - “Out of Jail”.
 
All these projects are further developed for implementation and we would not be surprised if soon you hear about them or even will visit and use the service or product…
 
Those brave Social Entrepreneurship leaders announced their Dream loudly. What is your BIG Dream?
 
 
Written by Viktoras Andrejevas, NGO My Tutor, www.mytutor.lt/en
 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author. The Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

 

 

Social Entrepreneurhip training "CreACTive Approach for a Better Life"

logo (designer: S. Bulavas)

CreACTive team

Solving group tasks

Ongoing intensive work

This is how the social entrepreneurship plans are born

There is always a time for cultural experience - Moldova

From idea to real plans

Analysis of common project

Get to know each other and find your similarities

creACTive team - always full of BIG ideas!