A social enterprise can be described as a business entity that uses commercial techniques to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being.
In other words, a social enterprise is a business idea that arises from the need to solve a social problem. It is almost the same as a traditional business idea, and the difference lies in the motivation of the entrepreneur.
In a traditional business idea, entrepreneurship is motivated by the opportunity to make money. In a social enterprise, on the other hand, the entrepreneur is driven by the need to solve a problem in the society. Here is a list of social enterprise examples to help you get a better understanding of the concept:
1. Cooking for a social cause
You can decide to start offering cooking or baking classes to the underprivileged youth or youth fighting drug addiction. Any income earned from this enterprise can be injected back into the business to cater for training and the purchase of other supplements needed.
2. Start a travel company for educational purposes
A good idea would be to start a travel company where people can come and share their travel experiences. As a result, it will promote cultural awareness and encourage the youth to learn more about their culture. This will also promote tourism in the community. All the proceeds gained from the travel company can be injected back into the community for cultural development.
3. Sell educational books on a social topic
Another practical social enterprise idea is to compile scholarly books around a social theme that is easy to understand and is acceptable by the community. For example, due to the high demand of living healthy, you can decide to compile a list of recipes for healthy foods and sell them to the community. The proceeds obtained from the business can then be used to support a local institution within the food industry (you can even use the proceeds to support the training of chefs in your community).
4. Invest in beauty products
One can never go wrong selling beauty products. You can decide to partner with major companies in the beauty industry. Negotiate with them by giving them an online platform to sell their beauty products at a commission. The profits can then be used to purchase baby bottles and milk to distribute to the poor mothers.
5. Sell simple exercise equipment
You can come up with a simple exercise equipment and sell it to the community as an alternative to hitting the gym. This can be an excellent solution to those who want to exercise but cannot afford to pay a full gym workout. It can also be a less expensive option in areas where there is no gym available. The proceeds you get from this enterprise can be used to promote healthy living in the community and other outreach programs.
BONUS: ULiveWV’s Community Media Development Program
ULiveWV is in the process of creating a strategy that will empower small communities to collaborate together and produce its own media & entertainment network. By partnering talented residents (writers, videographers, performers, photographers, etc.) with local businesses ULiveWV is making it possible for people of ANY small town area to profitably develop their own hyperlocal media like videos, short films, articles and so on. If you enjoy digital marketing and online media this may be a social enterprise that you could start in your own community. For more information, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The social entrepreneurship ideas stated above are just a drop in the ocean of opportunities in social enterprise. There is a vast number of possibilities waiting for you to unleash their full potential. However, social entrepreneurship demands creativity and commitment. The good thing is that once you show your commitment to the social cause, it will be easier for you to attract sponsors and other donors who can really make your work easier. We wish you all the best as you venture into social entrepreneurship.