How to Grow as a Social Entrepreneur

How to Grow as a Social Entrepreneur

As you can read in my blog ‘What it Takes to be a Social Entrepreneur,’ social entrepreneurs are people who see the big problems of society and see innovative solutions that are permanent and can change the fabric of society. A social entrepreneur has a certain social mission that, in one way or the other, is fundamentally related to everything one does. As Scarlett Erin explains it, for entrepreneurs launching a startup to generate profit, being successful depends on money. For social entrepreneurs, success depends on social change; they consider wealth as a means to achieve a goal.

In this blog, you will find the 6 characteristics a successful social entrepreneur has as well as 6 ways to grow as a social entrepreneur. If you are launching a new social business, this blog may help you achieve your goals.

‘How to Grow as a Social Entrepreneur’ Social entrepreneurs are people who see the big problems of society and innovative, permanent solutions. They have a certain social mission fundamentally related to everything they do. Success depends on social change; wealth is a means to achieve a goal. This blog lists the 6 characteristics a successful social entrepreneur has as well as 6 ways to grow as a social entrepreneur:

6 essential leadership characteristics of a successful social entrepreneur

These 6 leadership characteristics allow a social entrepreneur to make a social business successful, according to Erin.

1.      Being revolutionary

Social entrepreneurs are able to challenge the existing state of something and come up with improved and unique solutions to tackle social or environmental issues. In addition, they are easily able to ignore all environmental constraints and do not tie themselves up to any particular ideologies. They do not mind breaking free of the established structures.

2.      Having a rock-solid self-belief

Believing strongly in yourself protects you against all the refusals and hold-ups you might face. This self-belief might irritate others, but without it, no venture can be established.

3.      Knowing when to delegate

Social entrepreneurs have endless zeal within them, making them often cautious about allowing someone else to carry out the work. This is usually because social entrepreneurs are not sure that a particular task will be carried out the way it should or because they are scared to lose power and control. Successful social entrepreneurs know that delegation is important to help founders concentrate more on other significant tasks.

4.      Being result-oriented

Successful social entrepreneurs are focused on the end results and are solution oriented. They continuously endeavor to make changes with a limited amount of resources with the help of creativity and innovation. They always come up with a practical solution to a problem and aim for effective results.

5.      Being an opportunity seeker

Social entrepreneurs take advantage of the opportunities that the others usually miss and have the ability to challenge the way things are done, usually with hardly any resources.

6.      Being a risk taker

Social entrepreneurs love to take risks and try something new but they know how to make calculated decisions balancing risk and reward.

How to grow as a social entrepreneur

According to Tori Utley, the potential to make a difference is enticing and exciting for the social entrepreneur but sometimes, that passion can inhibit the social entrepreneur’s ability to ask for help. Asking for help is okay; you do not need to have all the answers. Rina Fetahaj believes that feedback is also crucial for further growth as a social entrepreneur. By asking for help and learning from others, social entrepreneurs can increase their probability of building a product or service that truly impacts the lives of others.

Here are 6 ways to ask for help and grow as a social entrepreneur:

1.      Know thyself

Are you a social entrepreneur, social intrapreneur, or social infrapreneur? Social entrepreneurs create something new, social Intrapreneurs change something that already exists, and infrapreneurs create a better ecosystem and infrastructure for social entrepreneurship to thrive. Knowing your category can help you prepare the skills, network, and resources you will need to change the world.

2.      Surround yourself with mentors

You need a mentor even if you do not work at a large organization, know what you might need help with yet or know who to ask. If access to mentors is a problem, reach out to other business owners or people you admire and ask around to get connected. It is important to supplement your inexperience with the perspective and advice of others.

3.      Join a network of industry leaders

Whether the network is an existing, prestigious network or an informally created one, find a group of like-minded entrepreneurs or industry experts. You will benefit from learning from others and sharing knowledge about what works and what does not work in tackling social problems. Moreover, entrepreneurship can be lonely; by networking, you might form friendships over similar interests.

4.      Find others who will run with you

If you are a lone-wolf relying on yourself to execute a solution, it will not only drain you but it will probably also not be as impactful as working with other people. Seek feedback from others, learn from them, work with them, and co-create together.

5.      Staff your organization and board of directors wisely

As a leader, you might feel the need to be the most powerful or knowledgeable person in your organization. This could not be farther from the truth. Having passion and vision for your company and being committed to growing as a leader is all you need. Be honest in your assessment of your skills, and staff your company and board with people who will bring a wealth of knowledge to benefit your business. This will keep you humble and growing while your business reaps the benefits of experience and knowledge that you may not have yet.

6.      Acknowledge your inexperience

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is admit that you do not know it all. People admire humble leaders and appreciate transparency. By admitting your inexperience, you are more likely to attract and retain mentors, board members, and employees who will work alongside you to grow your business. No one ever knows it all. Admitting this early will help you create a foundation for lifelong humility in your leadership.

How to start a social business

Now you know the attitude that you need as a social entrepreneur. However, what are the skills a social entrepreneur needs for starting a social business? My blog ‘How to Start a Social Business’ tackles that question by giving you principles, tips, and examples. In addition, one particularly fascinating example can be found in my blog ‘A Fascinating Example of Social Business.’

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