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Tips for Social Entrepreneurs

Discover strategies and suggestions for aspiring social entrepreneurs.

Starting a new venture isn’t easy. You know that. But don’t get discouraged!

As you can see from the video above, there’s a lot to be learned from those who’ve been there, done it or have supported others to make it happen, and know what works. Here are some tips that the School for Social Entrepreneurs gives you for starting up your social enterprise:

1. Get on and do it

If you have an idea for a social enterprise, you won’t get anywhere without giving it a go. There are some fantastic organisations that can support you to get your idea up and running. To begin with, you could just pilot one element of a larger idea; don’t be afraid to fail (but make sure that you learn from it).

2. Try to map out your social impact

What exactly is it that you are trying to achieve and how are you going to measure whether you are achieving it? If you achieve your intended social impact, what would the world look like? Knowing this will give you a clearer strategy for your organisation and is vital when you are seeking funding.

3. Be careful to balance the social with the enterprise

It sounds harsh, but if you don’t have an income then you don’t have an enterprise. Think about how you are going to ensure there is enough money coming into the organisation to keep it sustainable. Try to have a diverse income stream, so that you do not become dependent on a single source of money.

4. Network, network, network!

Being a social entrepreneur can be lonely; people often don’t understand what you are doing and can think that you are slightly mad! Network with other social entrepreneurs, share ideas and look for opportunities to collaborate; just be careful to strike a careful balance between the quality of networking and the quantity of networking.

5. Build up a pool of supporters you can trust

Find people who can act as the champions of your organisation and do everything they can to help you to succeed; these could range from volunteers giving you their time to someone fighting your corner to get you support from within a large corporate.

6. Use every opportunity to raise your profile

This can be both the profile of your organisation and your own personal profile. Shout about your successes, look for opportunities to engage with the press, write blogs, tweet, take part in discussion panels – anything to become more visible.

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Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action

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