We see there’s a lot going on in the social innovation segment. The entrepreneurs involved aim to improve the world and achieve sustainable impact. Well, that’s great. Unfortunately, we see that many of these social entrepreneurs lack the business vision needed to succeed. We know that the word ‘profit’ may have a bad taste, but a sustainable initiative isn’t just about people and planet.
We feel that sustainable initiatives have the good intentions, but lack the sustainable business perspective. This is a shame, because social entrepreneurs may be able to create a more sustainable planet by applying a more business approach.
Social entrepreneurs see the world as their customer, with the world having problems that they can solve. This is wrong. The world has problems, yes, but the world won’t pay you a dime. And without any money, it is very hard to make an impact. Therefore we suggest looking at your actual customers and understanding their problems better. If you can solve their problems, you might be able to make some money so that you can leverage you sustainable impact. We very much believe in this ‘doing good by doing well’. For example, if people are willing to pay a premium for fair clothing (that is, no child labor, good working conditions and a fair salary), and you can make a (small) profit or at least break-even by selling fair clothing, then you can help people in Bangladesh, India, China etc. by solving the problems of your customers. And you can do this for the long run, creating a sustainable, sustainable business.
We believe in sustainable businesses, and we believe in the ‘doing good by doing well’ approach. Therefore we offer sustainable initiatives our help at the ‘Sustainability Day’ (Dag van de Duurzaamheid) at 10 October 2013. Together with five other Utrecht entrepreneurs we can give you advice on (among others) e-commerce, design, business models and accounting. Join or look for more info at dvdd.vondelparc.nl (in Dutch). Any questions? Please do let us know.