Find Success in a Social Enterprise

 

Social enterprises aren’t just out to turn a profit--their business model have a social or environmental mission at their core. Juggling both isn’t easy: In a story for Inc. magazine, AJ Agrawal, CEO of alumni engagement startup Alumnify, spoke with fellow entrepreneur, Fam Mirza, founder of the 1:Face watch, about how to successfully run a company that leaves a social impact.

 

 

"A social enterprise is a for-profit company that has two goals--achieve social, cultural community good and to generate revenue in order to sustain itself, sans donations and grants. Essentially, social entrepreneurs earn their living by making a positive change," writes Agrawal.

 

Put your passion first

Social enterprises have to be dedicated to making a change, and their founders must know what cause they want to champion before building a business around it. If you prioritize the product first, and the cause takes a backseat, its market won’t see the business as genuine.

 

Harness the power of the crowd

“Typically, social enterprise companies do well on websites like Indiegogo because the amounts of shares are typically high,” writes Agrawal. A crowdfunding campaign is not only a reliable financial tool for driving revenue, but it can give your business that media attention and public awareness it needs to get traction early. Entrepreneurs can also anticipate their social enterprise's chances of success in the future by how well their business idea is received by their community.

 

Be active on social media

Social enterprises have great potential to build strong brand loyalty, and social media is just the tool for that: Social networks are the soapbox with which entrepreneurs can post calls to actions, communities can band together for a cause, and brand evangelists can be vocal about businesses they support. In the digital era, generating buzz over social media is the new word-of-mouth.

 

Business isn’t a zero-sum game: Entrepreneurs can make money and make a difference in the process. Read the full story here.