So You Want to Become a Social Entrepreneur? 7 Points to Guide You Along Your Way!

Written by on November 26, 2011 in Contributors, Education, Entrepreneurship, Funding - 2 Comments

Dwight Peters is a Social Entrepreneur and the founder of QuarterWaters. He interviews successful Social Entrepreneurs to learn how they did it. You can listen to his interviews at QuarterWaters.com 

Rule #1: Stick to one thing and do it well!

Ok, ok… so you want to save the world, end poverty, global warming and create world peace all in one shot. That probably wont work, well if definitely will not work in one attempt but there is good news my friends. You decided to become an entrepreneur because you care about the world and you realized that through the power of business, change can come. What you need to do is focus on one service at a time. Who are you? What does your social entreprise embodied? What do you guys (and/or gals) do and do well? If your startup tries to do too much, you’ll lose.

Rule #2: Engage with your audience!

Quit pretending that you’re smarter than everybody, fortunately enough there is always somebody who is smarter then us and thats a good thing. If you have an idea, get out their and tell people about it. Be open to feedback. Do not fall in love with your idea so much that you dont keep an ear open for constructive criticism.

Rule #3: Be crappy

Its ok if your product isn’t perfect, this goes back to rule #2, just launch it. You need to put something that’s truly unique and will be of value to others, but your first version doesn’t have to be perfect. If you wait for perfection before you launch, you will end up waiting forever.

Rule #4: Its ok to copy!

You do not have to create something brand new! Innovate, Innovate, Innovate! Great ideas come a dime a dozen, there are so many products currently out their that will the slightest twist they can be turned into a product to start off your social entreprise.

Rule #5: Keep your day job, if you can…

Your excited. Your ready to go. You ready to quit your day job…. well not so fast. You don’t need to give up your day job to get your start-up off the ground. It used to be you had to go out there and raise a lot of cash on a business plan and you’d run the huge risk of failing pretty miserably. Now you can start a company on the side while you keep your full-time job. Do it at night, network on your off-hours and get it out to market.

Rule #6 : Build it and they will come!

Social Entrepreneurship is a tough market for raising money. Before you waste your time trying to raise money, work on building your product. Focus on getting a working prototype and a great looking (and functional) site. If you followed Rule #3, and received feedback on your idea you should make the necessary changes. Who knows? After doing that, you might find that you don’t even need investors’ money.

Rule #7: Failure is ok

Its ok if your idea doesn’t stick. Just get up and brush it off. The world needs Social Entrepreneurs now more then ever. Learn from your mistakes and get back on the saddle.

Dwight Peters

Dwight Peters is a social entrepreneur and the founder of QuarterWaters. He interviews successful social entrepreneurs to learn how they did it. You can listen to his interviews at QuarterWaters.com.

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  • Kevin Chang

    Sometimes, start-ups get so successful that the founders are in over their head. So, they sell it to a bigger company.

    “Nowadays, many start-up companies – particularly Internet start-ups –
    are raising serious amounts of capital for their stones alone. Some are
    getting so far as to create a single batch of soup and then promptly
    selling themselves to Google or Facebook or some other large firm. To be
    sure, they may be making themselves and their investors rich (though
    many of them are bought for less than what was invested). But these
    “entrepreneurs” are not building real companies, and, in these sales,
    the entrepreneurs are being hired; their companies are not being bought.
    Their stones – their products – are often discarded.”- Esther Dyson

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/dyson38/English

  • Anonymous

    That is definitely true, and nothing is wrong with that as long as they have a solid exit strategy.
    Thanks for the comment Kevin!