Social entrepreneurs are known to prioritize purpose over profit. They are focused on doing good and solving some of the world’s largest social and environmental problems. Having such a deep passion for making a difference gives them an unlimited source of motivation and drive to push past the hard times they might be facing.
In today’s world, being an impact entrepreneur is great as consumers are more and more careful of what they buy and what kind of services they use. Therefore, providing impactful solutions to current issues won’t only do good for people and the planet but also attract conscious consumers. Entrepreneurs choosing to focus on providing options that do good are wanted and supported now more than ever.
In this article, we dive into impact entrepreneurship and explain what it is like to be a social entrepreneur.
What is a social entrepreneur
The term social entrepreneur refers to a person who makes an effort to solve current social and environmental issues through their work. They are not starting their business just to profit money but to put their impactful ideas into action that can help to make a positive change in the world. Practicing social entrepreneurship is all about developing impactful solutions.
What sets social entrepreneurs apart from the rest: The good
Impact investor opportunities
Being a social entrepreneur can open up funding opportunities from impact investors. These investors are funding businesses that won’t only generate financial returns but also create social or environmental change. These are great opportunities but to draw the attention of these investors, they do need to see a clear, long-term viable business model.
As mentioned, impact entrepreneurs are often passionate about their work as they are truly trying to make a change. This will drive them to push forward even through the toughest challenges. Having an unlimited motivation is one of the greatest advantages of being a a social entrepreneur.
Sustainability and ethics
The fact that social entrepreneurs are interested in sustainability and ethics does nothing but good for their business. In today’s world, these factors are extremely important and wanted practices by consumers. When impact entrepreneurs have the knowledge and skills of sustainable and ethical business practices, they can do good for the people and the planet and also convince their audience that they are able to solve social and environmental issues.
Huge market of potential customers
Last but not least, when social entrepreneurs get their business up and running, they are lucky to notice how there’s a huge market of potential customers who want to vote with their dollars. No matter the industry, when you are focused on solving social and environmental issues, there’s always people who want to buy products and use services that have a good impact on people and the planet.
What sets social entrepreneurs apart from the rest: The bad
High risk for burnout and overwork
While being an impact entrepreneur is an excellent way to show what you are passionate about through your work, it has also a down side. People who love what they do and are wanting to make a difference, might have an increased risk of burnout and overwork. Acknowledging this possibility is a must to be able to predict any sing of burnout.
Risk for tunnel vision
Although being an impact entrepreneur is rewarding, there are challenges these individuals might face. Social entrepreneurs are often extremely passionate about their projects, sometimes even more than so-called regular entrepreneurs, because making money is secondary for them and their main focus is on actually doing something good. This can easily lead to tunnel vision, which makes it challenging for them to unforeseen consequences of their business idea or solution.
Not able to pivot quickly enough
All entrepreneurs must be able to pivot quickly in response to key results achieved with their minimum viable product. But as a social entrepreneur, when you are working to solve a problem so near to your heart, it can sometimes be hard to see when you have taken a wrong turn or made a wrong decision. This might sometimes lead to challenges in the business.
Being an impact entrepreneur might be really challenging sometimes but without a doubt, it is also rewarding. Social entrepreneurs are working hard to make a change, and often when you are working for what you are passionate about you will not only enjoy your work more but you are also able to stay motivated longer.
Author: Oona Yletyinen