Social entrepreneurs have been creating meaningful change around the world for years. Their impact has driven social change, inspired new developments and drawn attention to a number of social issues. As the reach of social entrepreneurship grows throughout Asia, there are a number of ways that you can drive your social issue, increase awareness and be more impactful.
Create more impactful social entrepreneurship campaigns in Asia by using these tips to overcome the most common obstacles being encountered.
Innovation is not exactly promoted within the field of social entrepreneurship. Experimentation and innovation needs to be encouraged and sought after – after all, there’s no way to make real progress unless there’s innovation and evolution happening.
“Just because something worked in the past, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work again in the future. But, when it comes to social entrepreneurship, there seems to be a tendency to stick with what’s already been done and not push the envelope too much. Real progress happens when change happens, so don’t be afraid to try something different with your non-profit,” says Marie Hitchcock, data analyst at Draft Beyond and LastMinuteWriting.
Finding Reliable and Consistent Funding Sources
Within the field of social entrepreneurship, there generally isn’t much access to consistent sources of capital. In a sector that may see regular below market financial returns, finding investors that are willing to accept those low returns can be difficult. While this may be easier for early-stage enterprises to find, because their potential has yet to be seen, proven social enterprises that are fully working to their potential will generally have a harder time.
Complicating Your Agenda
When you begin to have investors approach you, you may find that they are willing to invest in your ideas but want to have a say in how things are being executed. While financial investments are likely needed in order to keep the mission going, the individual interests of each investor can sometimes complicate an otherwise straightforward social entrepreneurship.
The struggle between finding funding and reporting the best findings is often a tumultuous one, sometimes leading to misrepresentation of the results a social entrepreneurship has seen in order to increase their opportunities for future funding. Those who are looking to invest want to see positive results, so social entrepreneurs are sometimes more than happy to give them those results they’re looking for.
“You will never want to lie or misrepresent the facts or the results you’re seeing. But, there are ways to show potential investors results they are looking for. It’s all in how you say things and the perspective you add to them. Present things truthfully, but in a way that positively highlights what investors are looking to see,” explains business writer Jean Clark, of Writinity and ResearchPapersUK.
Old Non-Profits Aren’t Loved By The Media
While the media does sometimes take an interest in new and upcoming non-profits, using a narrative of empathy and compassion, the older, more seasoned non-profits are of no interest.
Regardless of their success or longevity, non-profits that have been operating for many years don’t interest the media in the slightest. Keep your non-profit interesting in the eyes of the media, by always giving them something new to report on, adapting to the changing social media world and always making yourself relevant. The more attention you can draw to your social entrepreneurship, the greater chance you have of obtaining funding.
Don’t Get Burnt Out
It’s highly stressful trying to run a successful social entrepreneurship. Burnout and depression are common factors that can effect social entrepreneurs, with almost half of those attending the 2018 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum reporting that they have struggled with these issues.
While all entrepreneurs likely feel these things, social entrepreneurs have the added stress of an emotional investment in a cause they truly believe in. Unfortunately, ego can also get in the way of social entrepreneurs, as well intentioned as they may be. Judgement can be impaired by the end vision seen by a social entrepreneur.
Of course, there are many more hinderances and obstacles that a social entrepreneurship can encounter as it develops and grows. As long as issues are recognized and acknowledged as they are encountered, they can be addressed accordingly. Starting by tackling these six most common obstacles can help you create a more successful social entrepreneurship in Asia.
Working in business development for over seven years, Joseph Giorgi is currently responsible for the product planning and execution of product lifecycle at Lucky assignments and Gum essays. His responsibilities include gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, and working closely with the IT, sales, marketing and support departments to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction goals are met.