Social Entrepreneurship: the Business of Helping
Social entrepreneurship is about solving latent problems of society; But what are the profits of these types of companies?
The objective of many entrepreneurs is to build a company that provides them with the necessary resources to maintain their daily expenses; besides building a future for his family. However, at present, there are many young entrepreneurs who are opting for social entrepreneurship ; that is why we explain below what it is about and if it is really a good business.
Can you change the world by earning money? Many of us have tried to solve problems that we observe in our environment; however, we have desisted not finding the resources to design a solution; or to build a solid business idea.
It is then that social entrepreneurship encompasses all those projects that have been formed as a concrete business idea; whose main objective is to respond to a social problem in their environment; that can be replicated regularly in other communities and countries that present the same problem.
But how do these companies obtain resources? Can you make money by helping others? All these questions and more, we will solve them throughout this article.
What is social entrepreneurship?
According to Disruptivo.tv, which is the main digital medium of social entrepreneurship in Mexico; Comment on the following about social entrepreneurship :
They are companies focused on solving social problems with a business model that allows them to be scalable, sustainable and generate profits.
The main objective of these organizations is to solve a social need, and to do so they use business tools (utilities, investment, sales, production, marketing, etc.).
Social enterprises combine the elements of a non-profit foundation and traditional companies to create a sustainable model that addresses the most important social problems.
That is, it is about generating a product or service with the aim of providing a solution to a social problem; but through a sustainable business model, which in addition to creating its own resources; also make it a successful business idea.
Many entrepreneurs who have been working for years have mentioned that social entrepreneurship is a trend; of the generation that is known as millennials. However, despite being a coincidence that most social entrepreneurs are young; it does not mean that it is exclusive of a generational sector.
The social enterprise exclusive of the millennials?
The generation Y which is also known as millennial, are those people who were born between 1980 and the late 90s; it is a generation that lived without the technological advances that we enjoy today; and that he was able to adapt to most of the changes that occurred.
Now, much has been talked about in the last decades of the entrepreneurs and their projects; and through technology, many of the young people’s projects that can obtain financing have taken a voice; through digital tools such as crowdfunding.
However, entrepreneurship is not a current fashion, since there have always been men and women who have a project in mind; they develop great business ideas. So the entrepreneurship and even social entrepreneurship does not correspond only to one generation; what happens is that the use of technology has allowed to give light and voice to many projects of this kind, which years ago did not have it.
It is then that technology allows these generations to be connected and informed, through social networks; where common problems of society that need to be addressed can easily be made known, as Juan del Cerro, of Disruptivo.TV, mentions:
For other generations, this was not a reality. On the one hand, the great social problems that we live today had not escalated as now, and on the other hand the lack of information did not allow us to be aware so directly of what was happening around. […]
Millennials are in a privileged place. We have all the tools to solve the big social problems. Social entrepreneurship has become a viable way to generate a change on a large scale. More and more tools and resources to develop businesses that can change the course of things, and the fact of being more connected allows us to involve other people and share our mission.
The priority is to solve social problems
To develop successful social entrepreneurship projects, it is necessary to prioritize the resolution of social problems; that is to say, it is proposed to obtain profits through a fairly organized project; but these will serve to reinvest in the project, not to provide profits to entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs.
Although the spirit of helping someone else may not give you the profits you would get from developing a traditional business project; You will get the satisfaction of helping a community in need and the possibility of living unique experiences.
That is why many of today’s big businessmen can choose to develop social projects; Well, you do not need an established age and the great experience in business can serve as support and guidance.
It is then that social entrepreneurs start a project because what they want is to resolve a social problem. So the true commitment to the project is essential.
It should also be clear that many times, a social entrepreneurship project will not often be successful in a traditional company; that is why the project will not always reach all the communities that you raised at some point.
Are social entrepreneurship projects attractive to investors?
It takes a great creativity to make a social project work, because in general both investors and other companies; they look for social entrepreneurs to have quick or short-term results; that is why it is unlikely that all sectors will reach an agreement.
That is the main reason why social projects must adapt to the traditional rules of business; if they want to get investors and a certain type of advertising reach. That is why many social companies can adapt to the business world easily
At the moment the ecosystem of the social entrepreneur is in development and there is still much to be solved; to turn these projects into a profitable idea for investors and useful for communities that need to solve a latent problem.
Social entrepreneurship examples
Although because there is still not much attention in social projects, and because they do not have an important attention; However, there are examples of social entrepreneurship that have been able to achieve much through their projects. Some are the following:
Iluméxico is an example of a Mexican social enterprise, whose main objective is to bring solar energy to rural communities in our country; that do not have electric power service. The main motivation of the project then, was to solve the electricity needs of the most needy communities in the country.
In 2009, a group of 8 young engineers decided to build this social enterprise. Once they managed to land their social plan, they managed to be winners of a Santander prize for innovation; from where they obtained 500 thousand pesos for their project; according to information obtained on his official website.
This is how they managed to build a lighting and electrification program for homes, using solar energy technology. But how does your project work? Well, they developed all the necessary technology to install lighting in a house; and involve communities so that they understand how the concept works and are able to replicate the project in other houses and in other communities.
They also offer accessibility of credits so that the inhabitants of the communities can afford the installation expenses; And this does not affect your economy and on the contrary is a support. For more information you can visit its official site; of which I shared the link, above.
It was in 2012 when José Manuel Moller went to live on his own and realized how expensive it was; Make purchases for him and his other 3 friends with whom he lived. What led him to realize a true social problem that overwhelms many communities not only in their native country Chile; but from other countries too.
It is with this problem in mind, that Algramo emerges, with the purpose of creating dispensing machines; that could provide in a simple and economical way the products of the basic basket in bulk; thus avoiding the payment of packaging, marketing and others that traditional products need.
However, this project was a real challenge; because there was not yet the necessary technology that allowed a machine; Dispatch an exact amount of a product, depending on the payment made. So the first project was to manufacture the machine that was capable of that.
Thanks to the obtaining of some prizes and recognitions like Jump Chile; where the project obtained 5 million pesos; is that they began to manufacture the first prototypes of dispensing machines.
For 2014, Algramo is certified as a type B company; which have as objectives to solve social or environmental problems in a completely sustainable way. The following year, they managed to increase the amount of stores and variety of their products; and for 2016 it is that they consolidated as a Social Enterprise, likewise they managed to position themselves in the # 11 worldwide position of the Best Companies for the World.
Currently, they continue to advance in the fulfillment of their projects and obtain new recognitions and financing; to ensure that more and more communities enjoy the benefits of their projects. So if you want to know more about their projects, I invite you to visit their official website: Algramo.
Social entrepreneurship offers appropriate solutions for different social problems; not only from our country but from different parts of the world, although it is not a project that can economically reward entrepreneurs; if it gives them the satisfaction of using their skills and abilities to improve the situation of some community.
That is why this kind of projects must have the operation of a traditional company; In this way, it acquires the resources it needs to materialize the products or services; that work to solve a community.
The impetus that all these projects need to reach all the communities that need it comes hand in hand with consumers, authorities and other companies; who can help these social projects, the resources they need to accommodate all their goals and plans.