How to Become a Social Entrepreneur

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Living and being part of a society means getting certain advantages and being protected from harm, but in order to be deserving of that status one also has to contribute back, to offer people help. Finding a job or occupation that allows you to get directly involved in helping your community or other communities is not difficult, but it isn’t the easiest thing to do either. Although the world has enough problems as it is, there doesn’t seem to be enough avenues that guide people in the right direction when it comes to help those around us in a way that truly makes a difference. Sure, there are plenty charities, plenty causes for which you can volunteer, but then you feel just like a cog in the machine, barely doing anything with a real impact. Well perhaps it’s time you became a social entrepreneur.

Unlike usual entrepreneurs, the social entrepreneur works not for profit, but for change; in this capacity, one can start their own actions, their own worthy causes. If you want to learn how to become a social entrepreneur, then be prepared for a difficult but rewarding journey; although everyone wishes lots of aspects of our society could be improved, when it comes to actually doing something themselves, or merely donating some money, most people shudder back in confusion. Yet it doesn’t take much to make a difference, so if everyone did their piece, things could get so much better.

As for those who want to become a social entrepreneur, they have to begin by choosing a cause, an issue. Think of all the aspects of society which need improvement and see where you think you could make the most difference; you can choose a field that you have experience in and where you feel you can bring most of your input, or just choose something that you really care about. Even if at the moment you don’t know too much about it, there is always time to learn. What is essential is that you choose something you truly believe in, something for which you would go all the way; because you will have to go all the way. Whether your cause will be to bring drinking water to remote villages, to set up schools where there are none, or making sure poor children get vaccines, you will have to struggle for every support and every cent.

A social entrepreneur can be like a modern hero, like a sort of Robin Hood who takes from the rich and gives to the poor – without the stealing and looting aspects though. However, you have to convince people that your cause is worthy, and that it is important. The more money people have, the harder it is for them to part with some of it, so you need to be convincing. Other social entrepreneurs have found that creating a brand for their cause, much like Coca-Cola or Samsung do, can truly help towards getting the funding and the publicity necessary for success. Thus, you have to start networking, and getting to know the right people. Look at other charities and see their business models; what did they do, and how did they succeed?

In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to think like a businessman, and what you do is your business; you have to have the eagerness and ruthlessness of someone who is making money for themselves, except you’re making it for the cause. Like other emerging businesses, you need capital, you need investors, you need a team of dedicated and professional people. Try to create a pleasant and attractive image for your cause and to be as visible as possible; go and speak to people in person, organize events, discuss on forums and social networks and make sure the television news know about you.

Keep in mind that the most important thing and the first step towards becoming a social entrepreneur is to truly believe in the issue you want to draw attention to. When that happens, you will be able to find unimaginable resources within you, and the ability to carry out your plans.

June 2017
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