Social entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly popular word in the business world today. A social entrepreneur is basically someone who seeks to solve social problems using business techniques. Unlike traditional entrepreneurs who are driven solely by the desire to make a profit, social entrepreneurs are more concerned about making a positive impact on society. Such entrepreneurs champion social transformation and innovation in a wide range of areas including enterprise development, environment, health, technology, and education.
Here are some awesome social entrepreneurship ideas you could explore:
1. Distribute used textbooks
Approach learning institutions in your area and share the idea of collecting and distributing used textbooks. Once your request is granted, mobilize a few students to collect textbooks at the end of each semester. The books can then be resold at a minimal price to the less privileged students at the same universities. The money collected can then be used to cover the costs of running your social enterprise. Alternatively, you could have the books shipped to needy students in developing countries around the world.
2. Create an online marketplace
Many small scale artisans, especially in the developing world, face the challenge of getting their work to the wider market. You can help such people by creating an online platform which will help them reach the world with their products. This could simply be an ecommerce store which lists different products and allows artisans to directly connect with buyers. You can charge a minimal fee for every listing and a small commission for every item sold. Profits generated will help cover administrative costs and enable further improvement of the platform.
3. Distribute sustainable water
Access to clean drinking water is a challenge in many developing countries around the world. You could therefore consider distributing water purification equipment to various communities in such countries. You can raise the funds for this initiative through debt/equity financing or by partnering with other corporates. In addition, you could ask members of the community to contribute in order to become partial or full owners of the project. The proceeds from the sale of purified water can then be used to maintain the equipment.
4. Sell efficient wood stoves
Wood is the fuel normally used in many homes in developing countries. As a result of constantly breathing in wood smoke, many people have developed respiratory problems. To help solve this problem, you could consider creating a more efficient wood stove which is not harmful to people’s health. You can then sell the stoves at a higher price to the people who can afford it. The proceeds from sales can then be used to subsidize the costs to the less privileged.
5. Generate micropower
There are several ways of providing micro-electric solutions. First, you could build a power plant that uses biogas from human and animal waste. Alternatively, you could use rechargeable batteries to create a standalone power system. Setting up such systems is not very expensive. The fees paid for usage can be used to cover the operational costs.
Social entrepreneurship ideas are everywhere. Begin with the community around you before expanding your horizons. Just start small and the support you require will follow.
Can you think of any other great ideas for social entrepreneurship? Let us know in the comments section below!