Social entrepreneurship can reduce unemployment, increase female participation in all fields and improve education. We are eager to share our knowledge with you in order to help you become a social entrepreneur. How to scale your impact-driven solutions and where to start. These are the steps we believe will bring you success:
- Find your passion
Social entrepreneurs trust that the first step to change can be taken. People believe in what they are doing. They start ventures because they believe it can make a difference and have an impact. Social entrepreneurs and changemakers who have a compelling story to share are the ones that make a difference. Did you notice that every story starts with a Why?
Ask yourself these questions to find your passion.
Are you unhappy with the status quo?
What is bothering you?
What is most important to you?
What is more important than any other thing that lights you up?
Which values are most important to you?
Our first lesson: find your passion. This is the foundation of everything else. Rana Dajani Ph.D. is a Harvard Radcliffe fellow and Eisenhower fellow. She was also Associate Professor at Hashemite University in Jordan and former Director for the center of studies there. In 2006, she realized that children don’t read for enjoyment.
Rana believes reading for pleasure is essential for children to discover their inner potential as well as the world around them. Rana identified the root cause of children not reading for enjoyment and created We Love Reading. WLR encourages children to love reading through a community-based model. This programme has been able to create a virtual community using a mobile app and has become a social movement. The project has helped more than 50,000 children in Jordan by training 3,000 women, opening 2,000 libraries and empowering them with the skills they need. WLR has been thoroughly studied with Yale, Chicago, and Brown University. It has received multiple awards.
Because Rebecca believes in social justice, and education’s ability to equal opportunity and level the playing fields, she co-founded the Brussels-based nonprofit Bantani Education. Her non-profit is involved in policy initiatives with governments, international organizations, including the European Commission, to integrate entrepreneurial learning into education.
- Create a culture of teamwork
Culture beats strategy, we know this. Your first follower is the most important part of any movement. Your first follower will teach everyone how to follow. In their own way, your first follower is a leader. Leadership is too often glorified. It is the first person to follow that makes the single nut a leader. Your first follower should be treated as an equal. Let them know it’s no longer about them, but you as a group.
Give your team room to breathe when you are building them. Your team will feel empowered when they take on responsibilities and can trust you because you share the same vision. Your role is to create the environment that will foster a team culture. To empower your team, inspire and show drive, your mission must come first.
- Get started
Consider what you can do right now. Do not worry about the bigger picture. Start small and dream big. You should have a mindset that focuses on changing one person at time. You can find the solution to that problem by looking around and learning from others, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. You can adapt whatever you find to your culture. You can refine, repeat and refinance the model until you find the most practical solution.
To understand the root cause of the problem, do your research. Ask others what they think and make your own observations.
Find a solution that is simple and comes from the people. More research is needed. Ask your local community to help you solve the problem. This information can be used to develop a solution that is human-centred. Your solution should be tested in the context of your location.
Your solution should be applied to you and those who helped you create it. Get feedback and reflections. Ask yourself what you can do to make it more efficient and better. Continue doing this until your satisfaction is high.
For future reference, make sure to document everything.
- Keep going (how to keep motivated and persevere through difficult times).
Entrepreneurship is hard work. We know this, as well. It is important to be able and able stay motivated. Entrepreneurs are aware of the statistics about start-up failure, but they also tend to be optimistic and believe in their chances of success. You can maintain this confidence by understanding your motivation, reflecting on past successes and failures to make conclusions, and keeping them close at hand for when you need it. You can surround yourself with people who believe in you and will help you pick yourself up when you feel discouraged. Think about those who have been there and done it before you. Mentors are people who will inspire you and help you take action.
Research reveals that entrepreneurs perceive setbacks differently, stating them as temporary. People who are more optimistic tend to be calmer and more positive in stressful situations. This leads to perseverance. Learn from your mistakes. Be prepared for failure. Expect failure. A brain that expects bad results is not expecting it to be successful lacks the signal to tell it to ‘take note — wrong answer’. These brains are more likely to fail to learn from their mistakes, and will eventually become less capable of improving. Social networks are essential. Having social networks increases optimism, as more people have positive expectations.
Finally, optimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Optimists see their partners as being more supportive, and they invest more effort to maintain the relationship. Optimists see their partners as providing more support, which leads to greater satisfaction in the relationship.
- You can fund your venture and organically grow it.
Collaboration with grassroots organizers ensures that everyone is involved and willing to contribute. It is important to think small and locally, as we know. Your social enterprise should be easy and manageable. Otherwise, it will not work at the higher levels.
Once you are certain that your solution is working,
Discuss with your community ways to sustain your solution. This gives people ownership and agency. Get involved in your community to identify your goal and then to determine what it takes to achieve that objective.
The strategy’s creators should test it to determine if it works.
Funding and growth can take many forms. You should look for signs of growth at unexpected places. Growth takes time. If you want to see real change, it will take time. You must be patient, persistent, and most importantly, believe in your solution. Your solution must be the best. You must also be open to criticism and suggestions.
- Scale up
If you have started your social enterprise from the beginning, scaling will be easy. It is important to identify solutions that share common values between human beings. These shared values will help to scale the movement and make it a social movement for change.
We encourage you to get involved in your project, and to be part of solving our problems now and into the future. We encourage you to not minimize any good deed. A hurricane is created when a butterfly flaps its wings in China. This is the power and potential of social entrepreneurship.