Social Entrepreneurs Need Sustainable Business Models

Being a social entrepreneur requires gut, wit and unwavering commitment to a given cause. Many social entrepreneurs are driven by the passion to create social impact in some way. Their zeal to address social evils drives them to want to do something about it and often times this is how their enterprises are birthed.

The reality is that passion will get you started but passion alone can’t sustain your social business. Soon after commencing, many social entrepreneurs are hit by the hard reality that they need resources to be able to create the change that they so desire. In a frantic attempt to sustain what they have started, many social entrepreneurs resort to asking for handouts and donations coupled with aggressive grant writing which often times yields little to no results.

In our work with social entrepreneurs we have founds that the lack of resources is one of the main reasons why some give up on their missions, choosing to make ends meet. The role of social entrepreneurship in our societies is undeniable and that is why we believe that they should be supported to become sustainable as well as scalable.

At the start of this year in partnership with Einstein Rising, we rolled out a start-up class specifically for social entrepreneurs that majorly focuses on empowering early start-up social entrepreneurs build sustainable business model around the social impact they want to create. This not only ensures they become sustainable in the long run but also prepares them to scale.

Last week we trained the fourth cohort of social entrepreneurs under this partnership. A total of nine social entrepreneurs representing seven social businesses were trained. The social businesses included bee keeping, vocational skilling for girls and women, sexual reproductive health products, briquette making and production of mosquito replant soap.

The social businesses represented are located in Central and Eastern Uganda. The districts represented by the ventues were Wakiso, Mpigi, Jinja, Kamuli and Iganga. This has been a great improvement in terms of diversity from the previous classes were only two at most three districts were represented by each cohort.

Key learning outcomes as expressed by the participants included; improved ability to articulate their value proposition, insight on the most profitable business models for their enterprises, awareness about how to report and measure social impact plus the new knowledge on how to complete a business model canvas.

This is what one of the participants had to say, “I am now clear about the social impact I want to create and how I can get community buy in.”

Another participant said; “We have always struggled to articulate our value proposition but now it is clear and we can easily sell it to potential partners. This training has been a real eye opener for me and I look forward to sharing all that I have learnt with the rest of the team. I recommend this training to all other serious social entrepreneurs who aspire to grow and scale.”

We believe that social entrepreneurs are the extra hands that support the government where it can’t reach and by supporting them, we facilitate economic development at all levels of the economy.