Overcoming The Psychology Of The Social Entrepreneur

arnobio morelix soc entEvery organization or work place has a leader. The CEO, founder, co-founder, etc. For everyone of those leaders, comes a fleet of workers. No man or woman can do it on their own. From the beginning, to bring yourself to do so can take a lot. Along the journey, there can be some rewarding moments as well as some mentally draining moments. The process of starting a business or organization can take a lot out of you. This long and tough road can be complicated for entrepreneurs, but it’s that much harder for social entrepreneurs. While an entrepreneur focuses on business model and market opportunity, a social entrepreneur will have to keep that in mind while also maintaining the social impact efforts. Let’s take a look at some of these hurdles social entrepreneurs will have to overcome in order to succeed.

Access to Funding

Tech startups have a far easier time gaining a venture capitalist investment than a social entrepreneurial business due in large part to the bottom line. An investor will look at the bottom line, which many tech businesses have a keen eye on whereas a social entrepreneur’s business is looking at the social impact their business can make. An investor always wants to make their money back and then some and they see that happening far easier than with a business that’s worrying about a social impact first. A way to avoid this dilemma is to avoid these investors. You have access to funding through grant programs and platforms like Kickstarter that can be of help. You don’t want to get hung up on an investor who is looking to change the mold or fit of your business.

For more information on other hurdles social entrepreneurs will have to overcome, check it out at Yahoo! Finance.

Hult Prize Competition Upon Us

The Hult Prize is one of the most lucrative awards that college students have the chance to obtain. The objective to win the prize is no easy feat, however, although quite a simple directive: design a business that sets out to take on a global issue. The winner gets $1 million.

Hult Prize FinalsThe Hult Prize is an annual contest and is also the world’s biggest program dedicated to launching startups that is directed towards college students all over the world. Each year, students from India, China, the United States and the U.K. vie for a shot at the prize of launching their business that will aim to help the world.

The winners of the content are ultimately decided at the Clinton Meetings in New York, where the victorious team takes home the prize money of $1 million in seed funding for their prospective business. “The opportunity for a startup, irrespective of sector, in my opinion is the social development space where you’ve got this massive market, which by 2020 will represent nearly $1.5 trillion of annual spent,” says the CEO of the Hult Prize Foundation, Ahmad Ashkar. He continued by saying, “Actually, bringing innovative products and services to the world’s poorest allows the world’s poorest to get themselves out of poverty. So it’s a win-win for the world.”

Challenges in past years have been the task of a business model for solving the global food crisis, and rectifying the issue of non-communicable diseases. So, as one can see, the challenges laid out are no easy feat and require a great deal of planning. The challenge for 2015 has already been set: Early Childhood Education in the Urban Slum.

In recents years, experts have noted that there have been an increasing number of young people getting excited about making a widespread positive mark on business by way of social entrepreneurship. It will be interesting to see what contestants come up with as a solution for the issue presented for the 2015 contest.

Groundswell

imgres-9Will Byrne is an activist and social entrepreneur. In his early career, he worked in journalism at Der Speigel and The American Academy in Berlin, Germany. Upon arriving back in the United States, Byrne joined Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. Once that was all said and done, he founded the nonprofit organization Groundswell. Groundswell’s mission is simple, to unlock communities’ shared economic power to grow sustainability and expand prosperity on the local level. Now how do they go about doing this?

Byrne mobilizes groups to pool together buying power to purchase energy. A simple and brilliant plan, when we buy in bulk, things become cheaper. Byrne recognizes that while life’s luxuries like televisions and smartphones are becoming cheaper, life’s necessities like education, healthcare, and energy are becoming more expensive.

Byrne’s impact has been greatly felt by those in need. With a focus on the Mid-Atlanic region, Groundswell has helped communities complete over $10 million in people-powered clean energy projects. As a result, participants have saved over $1 million on their electric bills and have been reinvesting over $1.5 million in communities.

Will Byrne’s accomplishments as CEO of Groundswell have not gone unnoticed. He’s received the following accolades:

–  Forbes 30 Under 30 Selection; Social Entrepreneurs, Forbes Magazine (December 2012)
–  Global Fellow, Ashoka Innovators for the Public, December 2011
–  Global Shaper, World Economic Forum, 2011
–  Champions of Change, White House Executive Office of the President, 2011
–  Young Atlanticist Network, Atlantic Council, January 2014
–  Cordes Social Entrepreneurship Fellow (Global), 2010
–  Lisa B. Hall Fellow, Concord Academy, 2013

For more on Groundswell, check out them out at groundswell.orgFacebook, and Twitter.