As we enter another year, it is getting harder and harder to ignore the issues plaguing society.
Though we may turn a blind eye to all if not several of them, it is almost impossible to ignore the role that businesses have on issues that concern everything from our environment to social injustice.
As the urgency to address these problems only become louder and louder, business representatives and entrepreneurs are still more inclined to build up their empire. Yet, there may be a big shift to take place in the coming year, as the seeming bleakness of the status quo will break as there have been several entrepreneurs to have taken steps to combat social issues all while continuing on their business ventures.
What is social entrepreneurship?
A business that runs solely off becoming a social martyr may seem like a pipe dream to most, but that is only because people’s perceptions are too clouded with chasing profit. Social entrepreneurship, to put it simply, is a business model that aims to create a positive impact on society.
Social entrepreneurship can happen in any sector of society; from individual projects to startups, products, or services, what ties it together is the idea of developing solutions to social issues and knitting them within their business model.
Socialpreneur vs entrepreneur
The main difference between an entrepreneur and a social entrepreneur, sometimes called socialpreneur, is their end goal. An entrepreneur’s plan is simple – taking an idea and turning it into a lucrative business opportunity. Entrepreneurs’ end goal is to create substantial cash flow by building an empire that they are in control of.
On the other hand, socialpreneurs aim to create a business that equally benefits them and the economy they are participating in. at the very heart of the operation is a passion for good, sustaining the business with every beat.
This is not to discredit entrepreneurs in any way, these are all after individual and standalone ventures. Entrepreneurs do also have the option of funding programs that support social issues.
However, there is an argument to be made that there should not exist a divide between entrepreneur and socialpreneur, and that social responsibility should be practiced by all business owners. Many financial experts believe that value-adding businesses should become more normalized, especially as we enter a year where social responsibility is demanded.
Benefits of social entrepreneurship
- A firm client relationship and higher customer retention
One of the first pros that a socialpreneur’s business will have is the obvious improvement in customer relationships. This is no mystery, consumers are already holding a lot of companies liable for various social issues, especially concerning the environment.
Once a customer sees that a business acknowledges the impact of its operation, and tries to have a better alternative, they will feel beholden to that business and have the curiosity to test them out. Once a firm enough relationship is achieved, it can only go upward for all parties involved.
- A productive, dedicated workforce
The goodwill does not stop with the customers either, as mutually passionate employees will become energized and motivated as well. Social responsibility, as we said, is a demand these days. When one person shows value, the people around them will begin to emit that same energy back.
This concept is especially true in the workplace. Workers who can see that their employer and the business they work for will have vigor in their work, as they become part of a project that will have a positive impact on their community.
- Brand awareness
Even after repeating the point of goodness at the heart of operations, there is still the business aspect to worry about. Developing brand identity and finding marketability are still concerns for the business to properly work. However, the idea itself has this problem handled, as social enterprises/businesses are in a way self-marketing.
The demand for social responsibility, and the willingness to act on it, is an attractive quality that will attract stakeholders, foreign markets, and other businesses that might want to partner up. The various social channels in the digital age make it easy to spread the good word, and telling stories about social change will do wonders for your reputation
- More room for creativity
A social aspect of your business will also cultivate a sense of creativity. This is yet another favorable quality for a business to have, one that will undoubtedly invigorate employees and customers alike.
- Promoting diversity
While on the premise of addressing social issues, there is a lot on that catalog to work on. However, you can focus on more than just one, and the change can begin within the project as a socialpreneur can and should promote diversity.
Awareness of marginalized communities is one of the leading social issues today. From racial and ethnic populations, religious minorities, and members of the LGBT community, each group has its share of inequality and maltreatment within society. Social entrepreneurs should seek equal opportunity for all of these groups, as it will empower them and increase their visibility within society.
How SMBs can participate in this movement
Now with all of this set on the table, what can small to mid-sized businesses do about it? Of course, everybody within society should be participating in social reform – universities, investors, charities, and businesses both public and private or big and small. working together is essential if we want to create a palpable chance of achieving that fantasy. However, it may all start with SMBs and their choice to begin their journey of growth.
A proper business model made by a true socialpreneur is non-conformist, proactive, and well-aware of the issues that it is tackling. They should also be stacked with enough knowledge, or if not do enough research, to properly act against these problems.
So, how exactly are they supposed to do that? There are steps to be taken if SMBs want to create that business plan.
Focus on just one social issue, to begin with. There are multiple points of concern in our society, and trying to fix them all at once will probably just lead to nowhere. Instead, focus on just one social issue. Whether it be environmental, poverty, or equality, it will be much easier to create a plan as well as a solution if you do so.
Try to look for prior socialpreneurs who have gone up and beyond the mission. If you try to take inspiration from others who have done or are doing the same as you, it will serve as a good reference for your project. This will also be an avenue of advice or support for you as well.
Social responsibility is not inherent to most of us. In fact, with the particular indifference or gap of awareness between Gen Z to the boomers, social responsibility should be taught. Training in social responsibility will be helpful to you and your team if you aim to do your project properly, legally, and with the right background.
Create a sustainable mode of service or product that will have its place within the community.
Make sure that you establish a story. Social entrepreneurship is all about sharing a story – creating something that stirs people and igniting that change within them as well. With this line of entrepreneurship, your story is just as important as your product or service. Not only will a story make you feel as if your project is more personal to you, but it will also make customers more invested in you paving the way for bigger profits.
This will also allow you to create ideas for your services. According to the specifics of your story, you can create a niche business operation that will resonate with people. For example, you can cultivate a hiring system that puts underprivileged people under training, granting them the opportunity to improve their skills and have jobs. This is where the edge over your competitors comes, as customers will see that while you run your business, you are doing some good for the community as well.
Your social story does not have to be deeply personal to you, to begin with. If you do not have an idea for a social issue to focus on, then you can begin your research and try to single out the issue that you want to focus on. Get your entire team to help decide which issue will resonate with not only you but also with your colleagues.
Ethical sourcing has become an increasing demand among consumers. Consumers want to know where the food they are buying come from, trying to get a full picture as there may be exploitation of workers involved or perhaps a severe depletion of natural resources. If your project is committed to this cause, it will be both beneficial to your business and to consumers who are fully aware that the products they are acquiring are 100% safe.
How Can My SMB Grow in 2023?
Growing a small to medium-sized business (SMB) in Canada can be a challenging task, but you can use effective strategies to help increase your chances of success. Here are the top five methods you might want to consider:
- Building a strong online presence: A well-designed and user-friendly website, as well as active social media accounts, can help you reach more customers and build your brand.
- Focus on efficiency: Keep a watch on costs, optimize your operations, and track your progress to help make your business as efficient as possible. This can help you to maintain a healthy profit margin and grow.
- Stay on top of the industry trends and adapt to change: Keep track of what other businesses are doing, what new technologies and innovations are emerging, and what changes are happening in your industry. Being on top of the trends means being ready to adapt and being ahead of the competition.
- Look for government grants and financing options: Many government programs, such as Innovation Canada, Export Development Canada, and the Business Development Bank of Canada, provide funding, counseling, and other support for small and medium-sized businesses. You can also check for Canada’s refund programs, like SRED or Scientific Research and Experimental Development.
- Diversifying your revenue streams: Create new products or services that you can offer to your existing customer base, or find new markets to expand your customer base.
It’s important to note that a combination of strategies is usually more effective than relying on any single one, and the strategies that will work best for your business will depend on a number of factors unique to your company, market, and competition.
Social entrepreneurship is not merely a vision, it is a movement that has been on the move for the last decade or two, and it has begun to take stride as social issues only become even more serious. With the commitment to create a positive impact, we can create a future wherein all business ventures have a role in combatting social injustice and environmental decline.
Shelly Solis is one of the co-founders of SaaSLaunchr. This website specializes in SaaS SEO and guest posting services. She is a versatile writer who loves writing about digital marketing, NFT, health and wellness, finance, and business.