Social Entrepreneurship. B-corps. Social change. Socially responsible investing.
While these all may sound like buzz words, the reality is that businesses (and individuals) are doing some major philanthropic work these days through the concept of social entrepreneurship and cause marketing.
I recently attended a panel and art showing at Art Basel in Miami that was all about how businesses can partner up with social causes to create positive change in the world. It was a fascinating discussion and I walked away with a lot – including a possible plan for my own business to participate in social entrepreneurship.
Because I always imagined my business would somehow partner up with a great cause, I was intrigued by what the panel had to say. Social entrepreneurship always sounds like it needed to be done on a massive scale, but this panel provided some really down to earth ways that small businesses can do their part in the social entrepreneurship movement.
Donate some of your profits to a worthy cause.
Have you ever noticed how some socially conscious companies donate a part of their proceeds to a worthy cause? Well, you can do that too.
Now, as I learned in my own business, it’s a little easier to engage in social entrepreneurship if you have an actual product. At least from a marketing perspective.
In my case, I’ll be spending 2017 looking into potential partners for my membership site. I’ll be turning this into my flagship product so this is where it makes the most sense to use some of the profits to donate to a worthy cause.
In the past, when I didn’t have a product where I could partner up with an organization, I would just make sure that I always donated money to a worthy cause throughout the year.
The reality is product development takes time and choosing which organization you’d like to partner with can also be a process. That’s why, for many small business owners, social entrepreneurship may just look like donating some of their own money throughout the year until they get really clear on what social entrepreneurship looks like in their business.
Donate some of your time.
If you’re not at a stage in your business where you can donate some of your profits to a worthy cause, you can still donate some of your time.
I’m sure there are plenty of organizations where you can donate some of your time on the weekends. Perhaps they need help with administration or running events. Maybe they need volunteers to canvas for donations.
Donate your product or service.
Another way to partake in social entrepreneurship in your business is to donate your product or service to worthy causes.
For example, I’ve donated books to events. I’ve also been to charity events where everything from the space to the wine has been donated for a worthy cause.
If you don’t have a product, you can also donate a service. For example, if you’re a copywriter, maybe consider doing some pro bono copy for an organization’s website.
There’s more than one way to participate in social entrepreneurship. If you’ve dreamed of having your business be a catalyst for social change, try your hand at some of these suggestions to help you get started.