Social Impact BlogShowing posts in Critical Success Factors
When this blog launched in 2005, there was a strong need to improve both understanding of and performance by nonprofits to create social impact efficiently and reliably. Over the years the performance of local nonprofits improved immeasurably, particularly in the cultural sector. Still, two recessions and a historically slow economic recovery leaves the financial sustainability of the nonprofit sector fragile.
The elevator pitch is a vivid and transparent way to reveal how well focused is the definition of product and customer. Its value is in revealing to entrepreneurs whether they have done enough work to create a customer / product / attribute / brand focus that warrants the next step of building a business plan.
Open Letter to Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs: “Let me be the first — and perhaps only — person that recognizes you for your bravery and courage; a sacrifice to align purpose within the motivation for profit.”
As we learn more about what works in fostering more entrepreneurship, here are a number of recent lessons for economic development officials, grant-makers, investors, and entrepreneurs that can help Central Ohio continue to develop a thriving environment for new businesses.
Rather than look at the messages of these entrepreneurs as guidance only to become entrepreneurs, perhaps we should take a cue from the Arnold Fitness Expo and view their messages as guidance on to how to be fit businesses even if we don’t aspire to the extreme fitness of entrepreneurship.
We need to recognize that the value of exploring social entrepreneurship is not exclusively to become an entrepreneur. Rather, the value is always to have a meaningful experience in how to solve problems and develop new skills to solve problems.
I worry that the pitch is becoming an end in itself. After winning a pitch event, is the entrepreneur better off in a meaningful way?
Our ultimate objective is to have a vibrant social entrepreneurial start-up ecosystem. Here are the five necessary ingredients and where I think Central Ohio currently is.
Charitable giving as a share of nonprofit revenues in the U.S. has declined each year since 2008, reaching down to just 21 percent of nonprofit revenues by 2012. This decline has two causes: the inability of charitable giving to keep up and the decision by more nonprofits to develop new sources of earned revenue, often through social enterprise.
I have to believe that encouraging both men and women to work jointly to start and invest in social enterprise will be more successful than creating gender-isolated programs. While high tech has enough single-gender momentum to need some gender catch up, social enterprise is still young enough for us to build gender diversity from the ground up. Let’s work to make that happen!