Connecting and networking

Connecting and networking with other social entrepreneurs can benefit you in several ways – from new perspectives that spark business growth to new contacts and mentors to bounce ideas off of.

Here are the five ways to connect and network with fellow entrepreneurs.

1. Be active on social media There are several social networks that can be used to successfully network and connect with investors and social entrepreneurs. For example, Twitter is full of real-time action. Twitter feeds constantly pump out breaking news and information across every industry. You can also connect with social entrepreneurs and investors in LinkedIn and Facebook groups.

2. Join a social enterprise network platform Joining a social enterprise supporting organisation is a great way to meet and network with other like-minded individuals. There are several organisations that accommodate those just starting out, such as the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for connections Take a step back for a moment and think about all of the connections you already have. Every single one of your already-existing contacts has connections that could possibly be beneficial to you. How can you take advantage of this? Simple – just ask. Reach out to all of your personal connections and ask them if they know anyone that could possibly be a source of advice or help you in any way. Also, don’t forget that it’s a two-way street – make sure to ask if they know anyone that you could possibly help as well.

4. Join a co-working space It’s good to get away from your regular workspace from time to time. Working in different environments can help spark creativity and break up the typical mundane day. Impact Hub is a good example of an ideal co-working space for social entrepreneurs.

5. Organise a local meet-up Local meet-ups are great but they usually don’t happen as often as one would like. This is because they can be quite time-consuming to organise and run. You know what they say – if you want something done right, do it yourself. Take the initiative and organise a local event, starting with your friends and close contacts.

Try implementing one or more of these strategies as you develop your social enterprise idea. You can share your experience in the comments below – and in your entry for the International Social Innovation Challenge.

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Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action

Middlesex University Business School

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