Social Entrepreneurship. Pt. 1//How to get money for the mission. 

If you are passionate about helping people and maybe venture into social entrepreneurship because you want to combine your business skills with a humanitarian cause, then this blog is for you. In this blog I want to show you how to get the money for the mission as a social entrepreneur. I have divided this blog into 3 parts. This is part 1. Check the main blog page for part 2 and 3.

What is Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is basically when you tie your business to a very high social mission. Read a detailed definition here on Wikipedia. Often as social entrepreneurs we might be so caught up in the change we want to create that we actually forget that we might just end up needing money for the mission. We live in a materialistic and capitalistic world where almost everything needs to be purchased or paid for. So you need money and see money as a tool. A tool you have to learn to acquire for the cause. You are not driven by the tool but you master how to get it and manage it.

When the audience cannot pay for the service

As a social entrepreneur, the people you intend to support or give value to might not be able to pay for your products or services. Take for example your mission is to bring clean drinking water to a community that is disadvantaged and affected by financial poverty. These people cannot construct the clean water pipes. Their life revolves around just surviving a day. Then you bring in one great technological structure that costs so much money but will give them access to clean water for the rest of their lives. Or maybe they even have a simple solution but lack the finance to implement it and later maintain it.

So first of all, how do you finance this and how do you keep the maintenance? You can either approach this situation with 100% charity, getting others to donate and you do it. What this means is that you will also have to continue to get donations for the rest of your life to keep the maintenance for this community. Or you might develop a social entrepreneurship approach and carve out a business model around this idea. For example;

  1. you can develop some merchandise you sell to privileged folks who share a common interest  connected to the “why of your venture. Wao, the “why”. This is so important for social entrepreneurs if you want to develop a business model.

  2. you can also develop another approach to say, you start a clean water partnership with a business cooperation who channel their corporate social responsibility towards financing your social entrepreneurship venture. More on this in part 2 and 3 of this blog series.

  3. you can also design a method where the community sells the water to continually raise funds.

  4. you can combine all 3 approaches to carve out a social entrepreneurship model.

See money as a tool for social change

I always advise you as an entrepreneur to think of developing a business model. Basically it is all about how revenues can come in to accomplish the mission. So money is not your enemy here. It is a tool for social change. To get the money for the mission, it is so important to develop a classic business model approach and run your venture as a business.The world needs your courage and the impact you want to create. You have an idea that can change the lives of disadvantaged groups and therefore must work towards sustaining that idea.

Your mission is sustainability

Meaning, the idea is not a one off that dies after you run out of cash but can somehow be kept alive either through transfer of ownership or though a more secured financing structure.  Yes, there are projects that have a specific life span, so they have to end after a certain time. But for some social ventures, the impact has to live on as that is the essence in the first place. These people will always need clean water. So your mission is not to get them clean water now and leave them out of clean water in 10 years. But your mission is to find ways to make sure that clean water can stay for at least this generation till the next. So it means you have to think outside the box, collaborate with major stakeholders that have the capacity to sustain this mission.

First step for Social entrepreneurship sustainability

Clarity. Find your message clarity. This is so important but often overlooked because you as the entrepreneur are so passionate about the cause and believe that everyone else understands it as well.  Or you “expect” everyone else to also be passionate about bringing clean water to one community at the end of the world, right? I have actually felt this way when I started my social venture against human trafficking. I thought, who would not be against modern slavery or exploitation. In this case, clean water.

Everyone must know that clean water is essential. But here is the hack and believe you me, people are busy. People are disconnected. People have their own social cause they feel more affiliated to. Some just don’t care. People you approach might have no cultural, economic or social connection to that community or that cause. So carving out a clear message of “Why” is such a big milestone for the success of your venture.

Clarity means that you nail it on the head. Your core business activity. What is the product or service? Clarity means that you leave the generic explanation for your cause to go into the core of the specific method or approach you use. So it is not that you are helping people in community A or changing the lives of community residents. It is that you are bringing them clean water to community A. What is the impact of your bringing clean water to the community? How does it change their lives?

Then this leads us to the much greater strategy to define – your why. Why are you bringing clean water to that community? Clarity comes with simplicity. If your mission is way too complicated, it would be hard to get the money or partnership you need to keep the cause alive.

3 key take away from this blog
  1. Articulate the why behind your mission.

  2. Define the core activity you are embarking.

  3. Keep it simple.

Hey, thank you so much for stopping by and reading through to the end. I really appreciate it, because it takes so much to put this together. I will release the other parts of this blog, so stay connected. Hope you liked it. If you did, remember to share this blog on social media. Yes, more free training and videos on this topic will be out this month on YouTube. Not to miss out,  subscribe and turn on the notification on Youtube. It would be nice if you follow me on instagram as I share daily strategies and personal fun stuff. I am on facebook as well but to get it all in one place, subscribe to my free newsletter. Drop your comments, questions, feedback beneath using the comment section and I will be happy to answer your questions in my next video or blog.

Look forward to hearing from you soon!



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I am Joana, a Nigerian-born Austrian-based entrepreneur and activist. Founded Joadre in 2012 and continue to develop content to engage and empower African SMEs.




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