As we head into the end of the year, many entrepreneurs will take this as a time for reflecting on both business successes, as well as reflecting on new opportunities to engage with in the new year. We want to take this time to summarize some of the top trends that we have seen in social enterprise over the last year, and provide insight on which we consider to be the most successful.
In this month’s issue, one of the overriding themes, is the idea of entrepreneurship as personal growth. To me entrepreneurship, and in particular social entrepreneurship is really about growing, growing what you do and how you do it to become better today than we were yesterday. It is about creating new ways of doing, and challenging accepted practices.
As we take some time during the upcoming holiday season to slow down and enjoy our family and friends, undoubtedly we will begin to reflect on how we can develop our best selves, both professionally and personally. We wanted to take a moment to provide you with our list of Top 5 Recommended Reads for Social Enterprise.
As an African living in the UK who works in the commerce industry, Thabo Tembo was acutely aware of the advantages that other regions of the world had over Africa when it came to sourcing business opportunities. For this reason, in June of 2015 he launched Sort Africa, a pan African business directory and online marketplace that is a one stop shop for those seeking to do business with Africa.
Learning Capoeira is in itself a transformative experience; teaching it in a social enterprise, a whole different ball game. This is the initiative that Capoeira For All has taken—the desire to bring Capoeira to a main stream audience, but also to give others access to this culturally rich sport. Founded in 2014, Capoeira For All CiC, a non profit and social enterprise, has been running a variety of programs in the UK, particularly in the Northwest region of the country. They participate in and host community events and collaborate with other non profits to make Capoeira accessible to all in their community.
Social Enterprise and the role of the Board of Directors
While there is much written about social enterprise and the role of Management teams, there is little written about the role of the Boards of Directors. As a board member, one’s role is to direct and protect the organization. While there are different types of boards, the role of a board member is to govern and to manage the risk level of the organization while ensuring its ongoing operation.
Fostering a Culture of Innovation
“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Innovation often seems to be the buzzword of the day. Used by the government and private sector alike, innovation is a catch all term used to identify both the act or process of creation, as well as the outcome of the process. Innovation has become one of the most overused business terms of the last decade, and its permeance is not just limited to the world of commerce but extends through many aspects of technology and culture as well.
Guusto: Gifting with a Social Conscious
How often do you buy restaurant gift cards for friends, business partners or clients? Now what if each of those transactions enabled someone to have clean drinking water for the day? This is the business model behind Guusto, a Vancouver based company that makes giving thoughtful gifts easy. Founded by partners Joe Facciolo and Skai Dalziel, Guusto has created an app that is hoping to revolutionize the way and purpose behind how we gift.
Imagine you want to give a client a gift. Rather than taking the time to think of, look for and purchase a gift, all you do is choose the type of gift to send, decide the amount and enter their email or cell phone number and PRESTO the gift is on the way. All the recipient has to do is click on the link and redeem it at one of 1400+ restaurants in North America. For every purchase you make, a day’s worth of clean drinking water is provided to someone in need via the charity One Drop. It is truly a win-win solution.
If this wasn’t innovative enough, Guusto has also become the first Canadian company to close a round ofequity financing via crowdfunding through Vancouver based portal FrontFundr. Closing approximately$50,000 in equity this past September, and they will use these funds to grow their market share in Canada and expand into the US.
Equity crowdfunding is fairly new to Canada. In many Canadian provinces, only those registered to sellsecurities can sell shares of a company, but as of 2015, exceptions have been adopted by B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that permit companies to sell theirshares through approved funding portals.
For the Guusto team, this is an exciting time. They will also be featured on the popular show Dragon’s Den on November 4th, 2015. It is proof that you can do social good and make a profit while appealing toinvestors. Guusto is truly an inspiration and model for all aspiring social entrepreneurs.
For more information on Guusto, check out their website at www.guusto.com and feel free to download their app in the Google and Apple Stores.
Do I need a business plan? I cannot tell you how often I get this question. Early in my career, I was an avid supporter of Business Plans. Not the business plan itself per se, but the planning process. Planning in itself is crucial to the success of a business-or so I thought. However, over the years I have become more of a cynic.
I want to confess something: I have a secret. One of the things I do in my spare time is peruse Craigs List for enjoyment. I read the employment,wanted and even the personal ads. You get a chance to see humanity at its most vulnerable. It really is a entertaining to read. It was during this time that I began to realize that Craigslist is also a great place to start your entrepreneurial journey. You can pick up odd tasks, jobs, but just watch out for scams!
Once in a while (like once a week) you get some really interesting “opportunities”. Today was that day this week, and I just thought this one was too good not to share.It provides a perfect opportunity for someone seeking to earn some extra cash, albeit in kind of a weird way…..
This post was found in Victoria’s Craiglist:
65 $ CDN cash immediately after the job
I need to be baptized in a body of water
I will provide your pool pass if needed
YOU: ABLE TO READ AND PUSH MY HEAD UNDERWATER
ME: FULLY CLOTHED AND IMMERSED IN WATER, BRIEFLY ( not including all my hair, which is clean and nice )
If you know of a dock or even something more adventurous where you would like to do the immersion I’m allll ears.
The reason I’m offering so much money is that I can’t find any messianic people to help me out here.
Again, all you have to do is dunk my noggin and briefly read something that I wrote on the back of a zig zag papers pack. I am 100% serious.
Entrepreneurship is about seeing opportunity. For some, they might see an individual, who is a little on the weird side; as an entrepreneur, I see an easy way to earn $65. Go out and seek those opportunities today.