There are four key steps to using social entrepreneurship in your business effectively.
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Social entrepreneurship isn't just a stance or a thought process that "greener" or more "new age" organizations employ. It is now essential to the success of any business. The platform and change that a company makes in the world affect how its customers, investors and media see it. Ultimately this translates to where they spend their money, time and attention on social media.
Why it is so crucial in today's business climate?
The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University defines social entrepreneurship as recognizing and resourcefully pursuing opportunities that create social value and crafting innovative approaches that address critical social needs.
Those who are social entrepreneurs are resourceful and innovative. They utilize thinking in both the nonprofit and business sectors to maximize their impact on the world around them. Social entrepreneurship can operate in organizations of any size or profit.
The global business world was long dominated by those solely vested in economic success, sometimes with very little regard for the effect it may have on the environment and the health and well-being of the community. Within the past several years, there has been a shift in the dynamic of what customers and global citizens are willing to accept as status quo and where they will spend their time and hard-earned money. This is what makes social entrepreneurs so crucial in today's world.
Effectively using social entrepreneurship does not have to be complicated. It is about finding a clear message and cause and then staying committed to the actions you have decided to take. This will be personal to the mission and goal of the organization you are running.
Below are four steps that you can take to create a social purpose for your brand, as Adobe's Erika Lenkert details.
There are countless needs and social issues that need to be addressed in our world. To be a successful step for your business, you want to choose one that is relevant to your customers and connects your brand's history to its products and services in a way that can accomplish lasting change.
Choosing the right social issue and path to make significant progress will substantially affect your company or brand's image with customers, media and the segment you operate in.
Once you have decided on the social issue to be tackled, it is time to make a public statement of your social purpose that customers, investors and the industry can easily understand as your mission statement moving forward.
Your social purpose statement will help you stay true to the vision you have set whenever new social initiatives and business endeavors are pitched. The statement must be one that you can easily articulate and explain whenever asked.
Now that you've talked the talk, it's time to walk the walk. Once you set your social purpose statement, you will need to design action plans with specific steps on how you are going to achieve the goals. If you want to donate funds to developing countries, then plan how you will raise those funds and where they will be distributed. Maybe you are committed to more environmentally conscious business practices. If so, make a plan for how you will initiate paperless processes and energy-saving initiatives into your organization.
Being successful as a social entrepreneur involves being able to weave your initiatives and activism into the brand story you have created for yourself and your business. You want to demonstrate to your customers and investors your values and the actual efforts, not just the planned efforts that are underway. As people become more aware of your social stance, the social purpose statement will become ingrained with your name and business.
To succeed in a world with citizens who look not just at what you sell but what you stand for, you must always create positive change in the community — locally and globally.
The actual key to successfully and effectively using social entrepreneurship in your business is to make sure your purpose ties deeply into what you are passionate about. It will give you a fire to go and make the kind of changes that change the world.