Kickstarting Your Social Enterprise Dreams
Ideas are great, but without solid execution, a great idea will always remain just that – an idea. Everyone has ideas but only a few who have the courage, dedication and patience really bring them to life. If you think you have what it takes, the opportunity to play a role in the social entrepreneurship movement is certainly within your reach.
The key to kick-starting your social enterprise dream is to turn inspiration into motivation and motivation into action. Many social entrepreneurs started their ventures as passion projects, but over time have reaped the rewards of running their own business. Finding funding is one of the biggest challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. You can have what you think is the best idea in the world but without the moolah to make it happen, it’ll be close to impossible to even get off the ground.
Your options get thin when your business is focused on maximising social impact rather than profits. The problem is that many traditional investors view social impact as a financial cost and therefore a lousy investment decision. To make things even more difficult, for-profit social enterprises are ineligible for funding from many grant-makers, trusts, and other philanthropic funders, which are limited to funding organisations with charitable status.
Securing funding is an essential part of launching and growing a successful social enterprise, but doing so can be time consuming and can distract you from having the impact you have set out to create. So, if you are going to invest the time in securing funding, you want to ensure your time is well spent and that your application has the best chance of success.
Crowdfunding is one effective way of financing your social enterprise by collecting small amounts of ‘contributions’ from a large number of people. You publicly share your social enterprise idea and people can donate money toward your financial goal if they believe in what you’re doing. Crowdfunding is on the rise and is projected to become a $90-96 billion dollar industry by 2025. To understand how crowdfunding is changing the game, here are some awesome social enterprises that have harnessed the power of crowd via ING Dreamstarter to kick-start their social enterprise dreams.