Social entrepreneurship is a new phenomena developing out of many for profits as well as nonprofits. Essential business merges with social good to execute a mission that will make the world a better place.
In an article from Huffington Post, Jay Lee, co-founder and CEO of Smalknot discusses this new trend.
Nonprofits are businesses too at the core. While their "profit" model involves generous donations from the public, these donations go toward covering the core business expenses and what is leftover goes directly to the cause. Boards and nonprofit executives play a big role in determining the allocation of funds, trying to put as much of the "after expense profit" towards the organization's cause.
Many people forget that while nonprofits do not actually keep profits, they still work towards generating larger sums to allow their organization to grow. That's why it's important to not shy away from all the "dirty business" terms, such as marketing, technology strategy, exit strategy, finance, innovation, long-term planning, sales (yes, even sales--do you hold events or sell branded collectibles to increase awareness?)
Impact ≠ Soft
If you want big corporate partners and investors to help support your vision for social change, you need to really emphasize your nonprofit's story and major impact. Of course if you're just start up a nonprofit, you might not have anything to show just yet, but sharing your vision and using affirmative language can really help you emphasize the importance of your nonprofit and get powerful people excited about what your organization could do for the world.
Don't over-think it
"#socent is the new black," Lee says, "don't over-think categories. Just do what you do."
Okay, those of you new to social entrepreneurship are probably a little lost right now, but this is why Lee emphasizes not over-thinking what you're doing--whether you're a social innovator for a corporation, an investing philanthropist, or entrepreneur at a startup--you're all in the same game--a new game--a merging of business, innovative technology, and social good initiatives. Make your mark in new and unique ways.