(The content of the next three posts is from a speech given to San Tan Toastmasters Club, June 17, 2014 as a Keynote address to (an assumed audience of) the Chamber luncheon of business owners. If you are a business owner, you will appreciate these comments. If you are a customer of any business, let me know via ‘comments’ if YOU are one of the ‘crazy one.’)
In 1997 not long after Steve Jobs returned to the company he founded, Apple’s Think Different campaign was launched. It began with these words:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
My question to you is—are you one of the crazy ones? Are you someone who actually thinks you can change the world because of your business? If you are not one of the crazy ones (and it’s OK if you are not), I can guarantee that some of your customers are…and they are looking for businesses with products and services that they already purchase which give them the extra value of making a difference in the world with their purchase.
I want to share a relatively new concept with you, that of Social Entrepreneurship. I’ll share some thoughts as to why you should consider incorporating this business model into your own, describe it by sharing 4 characteristics of a social entrepreneur movement…give two examples of social entrepreneur companies, and share a few details about a social entrepreneur project I’m involved.
First then, as a business owner, why should you consider social entrepreneurship as a factor in taking your business from good to great? Harvard Business Review, in their Sept. 2010 issue, simply asked on their cover: Can Entrepreneurs Save the World? (How many of you consider yourselves entrepreneurs? Have you ever thought of your business as one that would help save the world?) The feature article’s conclusion: “If you’re not thinking about social entrepreneurial collaboration, you’ll soon be guilty of strategy malpractice!” WOW—this must be important! As a business owner, I better pay attention!
In Nov. 2011, the same journal used this headline on their cover: What Great Companies Do Differently. Their conclusion, ‘They create value for society, solve the world’s problems, and still make money, too.”
Why should your business have a social entrepreneurial component? It’s good for business: Identifying yourself with a social entrepreneur project will add value to whatever you are already offering your customers. It will provide you with a competitive advantage. You will attract a different demographic, in particular, Millenials and moms. More and more people want to know that their regular purchases are somehow making a difference someplace in the world. And if you are partnering with a company that will pay you for sharing the mission of the project, you will even have an additional income stream. Who can argue with any of those reasons?
(To be continued…)