If you are looking for social entrepreneurship ideas to get inspired, you are at the right place. Seeing examples of successful social entrepreneurship ideas may provide you with the inspiration to drive social change.
There are many powerful examples of social enterprises around the world that are profitable and have a significant impact. As the social enterprise movement continues to gain traction, this serves as the perfect opportunity for interested social entrepreneurs to invest in this novel entrepreneurial approach.
But before sharing with you the best social entrepreneurship ideas, we need to clear out any existing misconceptions about what constitutes a social enterprise.
What is a Social Enterprise?
A social enterprise, as opposed to a traditional business, differs in the motivation of the entrepreneur. The traditional entrepreneur is motivated by the desire to make money, whilst the social entrepreneur wants to solve a social problem.
However, even though the motives of a traditional business may seem “poor”, we should not dismiss its importance. A social enterprise does not mean that it can’t be profitable as well. On the contrary, it focuses on both social and economic profitability with a twist, as profit maximization is not the number one priority.
In essence, social entrepreneurship added the much-needed independence to social businesses as they are no longer exclusively reliable to external funding like grants and donations. But instead, with the use of entrepreneurial strategies, social entrepreneurs can create their own business model for social impact and be profitable at the same time.
With the hope to have learned a thing or two about the true identity of a social enterprise, you wouldn’t want to miss these social entrepreneurship ideas to create your social enterprise and impact your community.
Social Entrepreneurship Ideas to Make an Impact
Before delving into social entrepreneurship, you should first identify a social need you would be passionate about solving. And that’s the good thing with social enterprises, as they have the power to transform our surroundings and make a better world to live in while utilizing all the tools that capitalism provides. Let’s review some of the social entrepreneurship ideas that are proven to work and that they can bring much-needed social change to our communities.
1. Social Supermarket
If you are interested in the retail business, you consider the idea of establishing a social supermarket. It is up to you to decide the core objective of the social supermarket as it can cater to various social needs. A social supermarket can sell food to low-income families purchased at meagre prices from different food suppliers. For instance, dented cans of food or products that are close to their expiration date.
Alternatively, social supermarkets may form some form of cooperative with local producers to market fresh local produce that does not involve transportation over long distances and thus being sustainable. Additionally, this retail shop may only sell organic food or products that follow an ethical way of production with respect to the environment and animals’ rights. It is up to the social entrepreneurs to decide the focus of the social supermarket based on their passion or the social needs of their community.
2. Cooking for Social Change
If you are an experienced cook or have been in the restaurant service industry for so long and think that you know how to run a restaurant, you should consider opening your own restaurant business. Let me show you how to serve delicious food and drive social change through your restaurant business.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of underserved communities struggling daily to get back on their feet or look for opportunities to show the world that they too have skills and that can be equally productive as opposed to the popular belief.
Of course, I am talking about the idea of creating a restaurant business with the mission to build employment skills for people with disabilities, former convicts or drug addicts, youth at risk and others. Most of the time, these groups of people need a helping hand to start over and live a meaningful and productive life like the rest of us.
3. Buy one, give one
It belongs to the social entrepreneurship ideas that utilize the concept of donations for every purchase made. A very famous example of this business idea is TOMS shoes and eyewear company that donates 1/3 of its profits to grassroots organizations that promote mental health, increase access to opportunity, and work towards ending gun violence. The original idea of the business was to donate a pair of shoes to an impoverished child in a developing country for every sale of shoes.
The same principle can also be applied to all types of businesses. For example, you can open a bakery shop where your company donates flour to the local pantry shop that gives food to low-income families for each loaf of bread sold. With this business model, you can increase your socially conscious customers and at the same time help families put food on their tables daily.
4. Open a Thrift Store
As sustainability has become one of the most critical topics of discussions worldwide, and especially if you are environmentally conscious and love fashion, opening a thrift store business would be an excellent social entrepreneurship idea for you.
A thrift store sells second-hand pieces of clothing that are still in good condition. This type of social entrepreneurship promotes the idea of sustainability and the circular economy as it utilizes the concept of reusing goods, which is known to be one of the most sustainable ways to deal with a product at the end of its life cycle.
A social enterprise requires pretty much the same effort as a traditional business, if not more. If you have an entrepreneurial drive, you should consider becoming a social entrepreneur to cater to and transform your local community by providing solutions to existing social problems. I hope that through this article, you may draw inspiration from these ideas for social entrepreneurship and create your social enterprise. Social entrepreneurship allows you to be part of the transformative process of creating a more equitable, ethical and sustainable society through businesses.
The Important Work of SEYW to Youth Social Entrepreneurship
The EU acknowledges the importance of social entrepreneurship for economic prosperity and social growth and thus funds European projects like SEYW that support social entrepreneurship.
SEYW provides the opportunity to youth workers to learn more about social entrepreneurship, find the different perceptions and legislation that exists in Europe, and share good practices of social entrepreneurship methodologies that can be replicated by youth. Overall, SEYW wants to increase the number of social enterprises created by youth as they serve as promising avenues for employment and social good.