Solopreneur or social entrepreneur, what do you want to be known as?
We spend a lot of our time talking to people who want to set up on their own and are not sure whether they should be a social enterprise or a business but I think both can be social entrepreneurs.
A potential definition of a social entrepreneur is
“someone that innovates and launches a venture that has the potential to solve community-based problems. They are willing to take risks and invest time and money to create positive changes in society through their initiatives.”
I always think that your legal structure i.e. business or social enterprise, is just the vehicle to get you to your destination and the important thing is to identify where you want to get to and how you want to change the world.
If you think you will need donations or funding, maybe because you want to be able to work with people who could not afford what you offer, then being a social enterprise (find out more here) would let you bid for funds.
If you have a business model which will allow you to generate enough income to support your work with the poor then there is no need to formally become a social enterprise. Probably you will charge more and explain this is because you are doing good, it will be part of your marketing.
Every successful business changes the world for the people they work with, if you don’t then you won’t be successful. But a social entrepreneur thinks beyond the immediate impact of their service to how they can widen their impact.
Just imagine you run a corner shop. Being nice and friendly will change the world for the old man who lives alone and comes in each day to get his paper. But more is knowing his name, asking about his family and then offering to keep his and his daughter’s phone number so that if the old man fails to pick up his paper and he can’t get an answer when he rings him, he’ll give the daughter a ring to suggest she checks he’s OK. That is changing the lives of the old man and his family and in a small but profound way how a social entrepreneur acts.
Solopreneur Growth Club supports anyone wanting to grow their small business or social enterprise with practical ideas, skills development and tools .