What’s your mission and purpose? For a social entrepreneur it’s a calling, if you will. A call within that is a culmination of life circumstances that strikes a chord of not-being-able-to-sit-back-anymore…something needs to change.  Your mission and purpose is born.


What’s a mission or purpose

I believe everyone has a purpose in their life. Often lying latent, a gift unwrapped under a Christmas tree, waiting for just the right moment. Some find it naturally through their interests. A writer that cannot put his pen down or stop the flow of words and stories is clearly a tell-tale sign of a person’s life purpose. It’s the things we look forward to doing; it’s when we’re fully engaged we’re in an active state of flow.

Some of us, take a bit of time to mature, like a flower turning into fruit, it takes time to discover where we most feel at home. And home is a state of mind, where we feel content that we’re actively pursuing that what we’ve set out for ourselves to contribute to this world.


How to transform your purpose into your organizational purpose

When business mission meets personal mission a sweet symphony reveals itself as two singers hum the same song; they merge onto the same path. In business speak a mission statement is said to include: who is your target audience, what are you delivering to them and why you? This is a means to communicate in a clear statement why your organization exists. But please remember the symphony; your statement should embody your passion as its founder, the organizational mission and the personality in the organizational culture which is reflected in its values.


How do you know which social or environmental challenge to impact?

Well that really comes down to you? What are the challenges you sometimes wonder about why nothing is being done about it? When in conversation do you hear yourself or others complaining about a particular defunct attitude or something-just-not-right-with-the-picture about the current state of your community’s social or environmental behavior? Lastly, if it gets to that, what makes your blood boil, or cause you to shake your head in disbelief?

Let me be clear, it’s not about pointing fingers, or saying why they (whomever your chosen accomplice) aren’t doing something about it. The fact that this is occurring for you, is possibly due to the fact that it’s up to you to do something about it. It’s also not about being an activist, yet it does spur that feeling on, it’s about challenge meets solution. Solutions address certain ideas, systems or behaviors that may not be conductive to the welfare of the environment or our society. And I’ll bet as you’re reading this, you can come up with a whole raft of such instances. Well pick one.

One that has a personal meaning to you. One that feels aligned to your own purpose. And with that you have found your match.


Purpose as a quality for a social entrepreneur

In “Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Through the World” by Beverly Schwartz, she designates purpose as the first quality of a social entrepreneur. She writes:

“Their (Ashoka Fellows) clarity of purpose is often the decisive factor that brings individual and organizational efforts together. This is because it defines why they are working toward something and why it is worth working on it collectively. Purpose becomes the invisible glue that connects different actions and actors while it bonds everyone with inspiration. It infuses boldness and calculated risk and it creates loyalties by helping people understand why their contribution is valuable and valued. Purpose mitigates fear and allows inspiration to replace fear with action. Purpose leads to a sense of possibility.”


Examples of organizational mission purpose statements

Ashoka Changemakers® provides the tools and resources to empower everyone to contribute to a better world. Our community’s mission is to grow new ideas through transparency and collaboration, a process of Open Growth. No matter where you are starting, or where you are going, Changemakers makes it easier to share an idea, track progress, communicate with supporters, and invest in global change.

Acumen Fund: Our mission is to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas.

The HUB: We create spaces that inspire, connect and enable people to realize enterprising ideas for sustainable impact. We are curators of physical, virtual and social spaces for change. Our spaces offer access to a unique ecosystem of inspiration, people and resources to realize good ideas for the world.

Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash