Socially conscious entrepreneurs prioritize both financial and social returns. They launch companies with a social aim. In addition to being risk-takers and forward thinkers, they also have a strong moral compass. They are kind people with the integrity to create new charitable organizations.
South Africans Chad Robertson and Nkazimlo Miti Developed Regenize on the Cape Flats
The two businesswomen in the nonprofit sector wanted to shift how people felt about recycling from a burden to an opportunity to save the planet. Their contributions to society and the world are reflected in the many awards they have received.
Although Chad and Nkazimlo are two prominent instances of social entrepreneurs, their firms are not representative of the sector as a whole. They may be influenced by their environments in terms of their goals, motivations, evaluations, and strategies for establishing and expanding their firms.
Their working environment is affected by several factors, including government rules and regulations, financial help (or lack thereof), the availability of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and others. Consequently, societies that wish to foster social entrepreneurship must acquire a more nuanced understanding of all these elements.
Advisors, politicians, incubators/accelerators, and educational institutions cannot help social entrepreneurs in a cookie-cutter fashion because of their variety of approaches.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the motivations of “social entrepreneurs” from a variety of backgrounds who work to improve their communities through non-profit organizations. We found that social entrepreneurs are distinct from for-profit business owners because their judgment of venture concepts is highly influenced by their own social goals and motivations.
Motivations that come from within and outside of a community are equally important. Over 15 months, we interviewed 34 (social) entrepreneurs in Cape Town for our study.
Each entrepreneur had a special set of abilities and was concerned with a particular facet of the issues facing modern society. We offered them a choice between three fictitious business predicaments. We had them imagine they were the founder of one of the three companies and tell us about the company’s early years.
The Point Was to Understand How Their Values and Behaviors Vary
We found that social entrepreneurs had similar aspirations and methods while setting up a shop. Their assessments of the relevant components, however, were substantially divergent. Other elements included consumer demand, competitive pressure, technical know-how, the need for financial and investment resources, moral and ethical issues, and societal impact.
The shifts in approach reflect consideration of the needs of specific populations or the preferences of the venture’s target market. They did this by first reflecting on and talking about what was going on inside of them.
When envisioning the future of the organization, we paid great attention to the role that personal and implicit information played. A prior necessity was also brought up, and it was highlighted that the desired business case would need to be adjusted accordingly.
“Embeddedness” means you understand and care deeply about the issues facing a specific social group or community. They did not attempt to keep their emotions separate from one another. Instead, they let their emotions cloud their reasoning. That there were inner conflicts or tensions at the time of decision-making was made clear.
Others among the social entrepreneurs were more interested in the company’s prospects. The external regulatory context took on increased significance for these business owners because of the larger scale of their target audience. They did some soul-searching to make sure the commercial scenarios lined up with their goals of creating positive social change, though.
We discovered that community-driven and mission-driven social entrepreneurs have different early-stage priorities for their businesses. Their motivations for pushing the endeavor forward ranged from purely professional to more personal.
Different sets of stakeholders will feel the effects of these distinctions to varying degrees. Unlike founders who are driven by a specific objective, those who are motivated by a strong feeling of community come from within. That’s because they have different standards for what constitutes a serious problem in society.
Given these variations, governments and advisors should avoid making broad assumptions about entrepreneurs’ driving forces, such as the pursuit of financial gain. They should examine the causes of their behavior. Helping entrepreneurs develop workable business ideas and plans is the primary focus of existing help programs like entrepreneurship training. The motivations of business owners who put more emphasis on serving society than making a profit are understudied.
How Much Assistance Is Needed
Governmental entities should pay more attention to the goals of social entrepreneurs so that they can better tailor policies and resources to these initiatives.
Taking a regional approach is an option open to the government. One way in which a local cluster controlled by a permanent committee may help single entrepreneurs is by introducing them to other business owners in their area who operate in a similar industry or with whom they could create partnerships. Another choice is to work with incubators and accelerators that value both the financial and social aspects of social entrepreneurship.
Social companies may benefit from having easier access to funding and from having established networks of support.
The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship is only one example of a university-affiliated center that plays an important role in bridging the gap between social entrepreneurs and those who have a vested interest in their work.
Regenize was established in response to community needs. However, over time, its impact expanded well beyond that. Indirectly, by helping similar companies and products flourish, and directly, through expansion, firms can accomplish this.
But unless they have access to legislation, infrastructure, and stakeholders that cater to and understand their purposes, their attempts to develop social companies will be in vain.
About The Author:
Lunga Dlamini is a journalist specializing in African start-ups and entrepreneurship. Lunga’s fascination with innovative business models and emerging market trends guides his writing. He has an MBA and has been with Africa Nova since its inception.