Tips for social entrepreneurship & small business ownership

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By Noah Rue

It only takes a few minutes of watching the news or scrolling through Twitter to recognize the increased economic need in communities around the country. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, social entrepreneurs are more vital than ever. If you dream of managing a small business that meets a social need, consumers as well as your community are waiting for you to find new ways to serve during the pandemic. You could be one of the many for-profit businesses stepping up to tackle what was traditionally non-profit goals.

Even before the pandemic, social entrepreneurship required a special mindset, but in the face of government stay at home orders and social-distancing limits, small business owners looking to do good in the world must pivot, often dramatically, in order to remain viable.

Here’s how you can meet that challenge and serve your community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who to look for when hiring

As any business owner can tell you, the people you bring in to be a part of your team can make or break the success of your organization. Entrepreneurs who want to meet a social need and grow a business with a purpose must look for a certain type of employee during the hiring process. While specifics will vary from position to position, there are some traits you can’t compromise on as a social entrepreneur.

At a minimum, the employees you hire should have a desire to help others. Unlike traditional businesses that focus on financial objectives, your team must be committed to doing work that benefits others. High emotional intelligence and a developed intuition are also essential.

Furthermore, the ideal candidates will have creative problem-solving abilities. As seen during the pandemic, entrepreneurs must embrace innovation if they want to be successful. In a crisis, it’s imperative you have a team that can think outside-of-the-box to find solutions

How to connect with your target audience

Once you’ve connected with the right team member, it’s time to connect with your target audience. Reaching the ideal customer is important for every entrepreneur, but especially so for socially-oriented small businesses. These days, people want to do good with their money. Where once charity was the way to make a difference, consumers now are playing a bigger role in addressing social needs. Rather than just donating, people want to spend their money on products and services from businesses that align with their values.

Additionally, funders are embracing for-profit social enterprises, but, in order to get them to invest in your business, you must be able to show measurable impact. Gone are the days of simply promising that their dollars will “help the community.”

To get your message to both funders and consumers, your content marketing strategies should focus on social justice and social entrepreneurship blogs/sites. For example, the non-profit organization SocialVentures in Ohio creates content that promotes businesses with social impact at the center of their business model.

You should also have a plan for how to take advantage of social media marketing. It’s never too early to start collaborating with influencers that align with your brand values. Together, you can create content that will resonate with your target audience.

Tech tools that will make your life easier

As well-meaning as it may be, it’s all too easy for social entrepreneurs to get lost in their own messaging of wanting to change the world. While big picture dreaming is important, you can’t forget about the day-to-day operations of your business.

Before you can affect real change in your community, you must make sure you’re covering all your tech-related bases. You must equip yourself and your team with the right tech tools to carry out everyday tasks such as overseeing finances, which is essential for ensuring your business stays afloat during tough times.

The coronavirus pandemic has reminded business owners of the importance of being able to run their operations from anywhere. You can’t count on always having access to office equipment like a fax machine, so if you want to keep your business running smoothly, you need to find alternative solutions such as sending a fax from your phone.

With the proper technology, an effective content marketing strategy, and the right team in place, you can join the rising number of social entrepreneurs who run their own small business and fulfill the social needs of their community.


Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.

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