Social entrepreneurship differs from regular business with its higher goal– while classical companies aim to generate more profit, social enterprises are built with the mission to tackle some specific challenge in the society. Since the goal is different, also the forms of business differ from the classical ones. While identifying the issues may be the easiest part, finding a suitable and sustainable business model to tackle this issue is much more complicated. Sometimes the right path does not have to be invented by you – it already exists and solves similar social issues in another part of the world – or who knows – maybe somewhere really close. Therefore getting to know stories of the most successful cases and looking for ways how people have solved similar issues is very important in the way of identifying the best social business strategy. The Sedge has listed many great social business ideas that may serve as an inspiration for anyone who is looking for ways to solve issues within their community or society as such.
One of the listed social business ideas is to sell discounted products at a social supermarket – where low-income communities would be able to shop at much lower prices than in regular stores. These products can be either donated or sold at low prices to the social supermarket by the chain stores due to approaching expiry dates, some packaging damages or mislabeling.
Another initiative, called textbooks for social change, suggests the idea of investing profit from selling university textbooks in social programmes or developing communities. The programme would work in the following way – students would sell part of the used university textbooks to other university students while other part of the books would be donated to students who cannot afford to buy the necessary supplies for studies. Moreover, the profit generated by selling the books would be invested in social programmes for the underprivileged students.
Social business ideas are not only about providing material support – sometimes the goal is to offer lacking information and education. As an example in this kind of case can be selling innovative information products – such as baby blankets with information about how to take care of the baby, when to immunize, how big a baby should be at a specific age, and how often to feed the baby etc. These blankets can be sold to wealthier communities and the generated profit can be invested to donate these products to underprivileged communities where people are lacking not only resources, but also education on such matters.
If you are looking for a business that could combine seeing the world and contributing to local communities, maybe it is worth to consider launching an educational travel company – gathering experienced travelers who know a lot about the destination and can provide intercultural learning experience. The profits from organizing these tours can then be invested in the local communities that you have visited. These are only few of the amazing ideas listed in the article – if you are looking for inspiration – visit https://www.thesedge.org/socent-spotlights/22-awesome-social-enterprise-business-ideas and get to know also other wonderful initiatives.
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