It is crucial to create a well-defined mission which should include the specific strategies on how to accomplish the set social objectives. It is also important to have a long-term vision of the social enterprise. Moreover, there should also be a well-stated value proposition to outline how the beneficiaries’ lives will be improved by the proposed solution delivered by the social enterprise.
When creating well-defined mission and value proposition, you may ask yourself:
- What is the social problem that I want to address? This might include statement on who will be your beneficiaries, what are their problems, what are the causes of these problems, and the scope of the problem
- What is your solution? How will it solve the problem? What are the required inputs/costs to deliver the solution?
- How will it improve the lives of your beneficiaries? What are the indicators to help you assess the impact of your social enterprise?
These are just some of the critical questions that need to be addressed prior to establishing a social enterprise. It will be the entrepreneur’s guide to successfully accomplish its social mission.
Sustaining a Social Enterprise
- Continuous monitoring of the impact – It is important to create measurement criteria to evaluate if the social enterprise is able to deliver its solutions to solve the social problem. Continuous monitoring will help the social entrepreneur manage its resources and be able to maximize it. These indicators also help to the entrepreneur to plan whether it should continue the current process or re-strategize and be able to increase efficiencies/impact of the enterprise.
- Constant engagement and investment on beneficiaries – Their satisfaction is considered to be crucial in the success of a social enterprise. It is important to be consistent in engaging the beneficiaries and empowering them by providing training and support so that they may eventually be able to create their own enterprise.
- Consistency between the enterprise‘s mission and strategy – The enterprise’s strategy must be consistent with its mission to be accomplished. It should remain focused in its planned strategy and align its implementation with its social mission.
- Innovate and Collaborate – The social entrepreneur must be creative in creating ways to improve its processes/strategies to be able to maximise its resources and be able to accomplish its social mission. It is also important to continuously collaborate with other social enterprises, government or private sector which is seen to help or provide mentorship to the enterprise. This is turn would increase the enterprise’s value or competitive advantage. The increased enterprise value will pave the way in gaining more financial and non-financial support to be able to expand its beneficiaries.
- Be proud! – Share your journey as a social entrepreneur. This is not just about marketing your product (if your enterprise is product-based) but also talking about your operations and challenges so that people can understand what a social enterprise is and increase their awareness on these enterprises. The more people are engaged in your enterprise, the more support you can get which can help in sustaining your enterprise.