Putting human or environmental wellbeing ahead of profits, a social enterprise has the potential to make a massive difference to your community or even further afield. Starting a social business isn’t the same as running any start-up, however, and if you really want to succeed it’s well worth taking advice from people who have been there, done that and didn’t just buy the T-shirt, but made it first from ethically sourced materials.
We’ve put together the following list of videos, with talks, tips, tricks and advice from socent experts from around the world to help you on your way.
How to start a social enterprise – Greg Overholt
If you’re looking for reliable advice on how to start a social business, Greg Overholt’s TEDxYouth talk is well worth a watch. Overholt is the founder of Students Offering Support, a socent that has helped more than 100,000 students across America to prepare for exams, while also raising millions for education-based development projects. Overhalt’s presentation offers six realistic steps to setting up your own social enterprise, while also providing an interesting insight into the creation and evolution of SOS.
How to start a social enterprise – Robert Ashton
There are plenty of videos out there offering tips on starting your social enterprise, but Robert Ashton’s is interesting because it’s short, concise and gives a valuable insight into the type of skills you’ll need if you want your business to be a success. Most importantly, you’ll need to believe in what you’re doing, while experience is always a valuable asset. Ashton is the “Barefoot entrepreneur” , an author, the founder of Swarm and a campaigner. He has plenty of useful advice to offer those wanting to start out with their own social businesses, such as giving those on the bottom rung in society, including homeless people, a helping hand to help your business.
10 top tips for setting up a social enterprise – Susan Aktemel
Susan Aktemel is an award-winning entrepreneur and the Director of Homes for Good, a social enterprise in Scotland that aims to help both landlords and tenants. It’s letting with a difference, and in setting up Homes for Good, Aktemel has learned a thing or two about social enterprises, sharing her experiences in ten top tips. From striking the right balance between social and commercial commitments to the need for personal fulfilment and nailing funding and business plans, there’s lots of food for thought here.
Developing a social enterprise business plan – Allen Grossman
Plenty of videos extol the virtues of a good business plan, but when starting your company it’s important to distinguish between a regular business and a social enterprise. With the latter, it’s not just about profit, and your business plan needs to reflect this in a way that will still encourage and attract investors, customers and employees. Allen Grossman is a professor at Harvard Business School, and having conducted research into the leadership and governance of high performing social organisations, few people are better placed to offer advice on creating the perfect business plan for your social enterprise.
The social enterprise revolution – Melody Hossaini
The videos above contain useful, interesting and insightful advice for those of you already set on creating your own social enterprise, but if you’re still a little unsure about whether you should, then check out Melody Hossaini’s TEDx talk. Hossaini is the driving force behind InspirEngage International, an award-winning social enterprise offering training and life skills that have made a difference to more than a million people. Hossaini talks about the importance of social enterprises and, in particular, why now is a great time for women and young people to get involved.
5 keys to success for social entrepreneurs – Lluis Pareras
Setting up your social enterprise is naturally just the start of an adventure, and it’s also worth considering how you want to achieve success. That’s where Lluis Pareras comes in, and as a neurosurgeon, author and director of Healthequity – a venture capital fund aiming to transform healthcare – as well as a board member on numerous healthcare startups responsible for analysing more than 400 business plans per year, few people are better qualified to talk about success. Be sure to check out Pareras’ TEDx talk to get some top tips for succeeding with your social enterprise.