Blog & News.
Blog & News.
What actually inspires social entrepreneurs? You are probably wondering why all those people are so much concentrated on devoting their time to create positive impact. Of course, social entrepreneurs are, first of all, focused on running their organisation in order to be able to contribute to either the environment or the society.
Social entrepreneurs use innovative and creative approaches to tackle community, national and international issues. Their approaches are sustainable and practical which benefit society. They aim at financially stable activities to be able to make an impact and reach their social mission. Of course like any entrepreneur, the social entrepreneur needs to have that inspiration and motivation to be able to keep their operations alive and to be sustainable.
Social Entrepreneur's Inspiration
Social entrepreneurs have user-friendly and ethical ideas engaging as many people as possible in order to influence the number of citizens who will grasp the idea and to act on it for impacting others. In other words, social entrepreneurs are not only role models but also change makers, change agents who create new approaches and solutions to change the society and our planet for the better.
To present cases of what could inspire social entrepreneurs, we have extracted quotes from the SocialBusiness.org article of 100 Inspirational Social Entrepreneurs. The article is based on a hundred of interviews with social entrepreneurs from all over the world in a variety of industries, who share their inspirations.
We have chosen a few powerful phrases from all those 100 social entrepreneurs on how they got or are getting their inspiration:
"The daily contact with the reality of doing it is inspiring. Implementing a plan that has been so long and deep in the making is insanely inspiring and exciting. Seeing, essentially, so far, how most of our ideas and details of how we thought we would roll this out, most of them were turning out to be on target or better than we had expected."
Eric Reynolds, Founder and Executive Director of Inyenyeri
"Personally, my main source of inspiration comes from our own headquarters. We all live and work together in a small chalet and you really do get to know people under those circumstances. The genuine passion, hard work and positive energy that exists under our roof after two and half years of exhausting bootstrapping is phenomenal."
Sam Bruce, Co-founder of Much Better Adventures
"My personal inspiration comes from the people I love and my friends. The fire that drives me to put my heart and soul into Fashioning Change is the social injustice that results from a culture of flash and trash consumerism and the impact it has on people and the Earth."
Adriana Herrera, Founder and CEO of Fashioning Change
"A lot of my inspiration comes from the dissection of frustration. Whether it is my own frustration or that of others, there always seems to be a better way to do things. I really get satisfaction from breaking down a problem and slowly inching towards an alternative solution."
Calvin Kwok, Designer of STITCH & LOCKE
"We saw that an overwhelming majority of consumers felt our solution was something they would absolutely value and we saw that there was a lot of frustration with the status quo. Alex and I were inspired by these results and it really affirmed our decision to start Køge."
Alex Hyssen and Andrew Lenjosek, Co-Founders of Koge Vitamins
"Our number one inspiration comes from the small-scale farmers we buy from in places like Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, the Philippines and Thailand. They are under-privileged and work in harsh conditions in remote areas of the world. Some of them are among the poorest people on this planet, yet they have a dignity and strength that is admirable."
Mathieu Senard and Edouard Rollet, Founders of Alter Eco
"The recession has seen the makers among us –- those with practical skills such as sewing, knitting, baking, jewelry making –- take center stage and whereas "green" and "ethical" were once seen as a bit worthy, dull and hippie-fied, now the designers and craftspeople who hold these values dear are creating with beauty and style. I’m overwhelmed by the abundance of talent and want to share it!"
Katie Fewings, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Ethical Weddings
"We have over 100 brands that have incredible stories: brands that are supporting and working with fair trade co-ops of women in Guatemala, brands that are committed to producing their designs here in the US, brands that are finding ways to make their clothing from recycled water bottles. It's inspiring to work with these brands who are creating beautiful designs that are making a difference and protecting our environment or providing hope and possibility to the artisans they work with."
David Dietz, Founder of Modavanti
"Today, there is a constant stream of news and information about social problems and the individuals and organizations who are working hard to solve them. I try and stay updated on the latest and greatest efforts in the social business sphere, which gives me my daily dose of positive inspiration!"
Iman Fadaei, Founder of Ethical Art
"My instructors and my inspiration are the Afghan women themselves. My work with ARZU has simply confirmed what I have long believed to be true—that what women have in common outweighs the individual differences of religion, culture and geography. Motherhood creates a universal hope that one’s children will grow up educated, in safety, in good health with adequate nutrition and medical care, and with economic opportunities to support themselves and their families."
Connie Duckworth, Founder of ARZU
"We get inspiration from choosing to think about things differently. We see disability as a difference, and difference creates value. Sometimes people just forget that when they leave university and get into the business world."
Edouard de Broglie, Founder of Dans Le Noir
"When you see parts of the developing world that force you to reflect on your own life and habits, you can’t help but be changed. We saw places so rich in culture and so full of life that we couldn’t help but wonder why they should bear the brunt of the western world’s consumption. These experiences inspired us to start thinking about our own shopping habits, where our clothes come from and to start asking the same questions of others."
Founders of All of Us Revolution
As you can see from all these 12 cases of inspiration of social entrepreneurs, inspiration comes in different forms for each individual. However, they all have something in common: they are striving towards providing positive change for the society or for the environment. They were all inspired from their personal experiences with reality resulting in either their frustration from the status quo and from consumerism, or by simply getting inspired by passion, positive energy and bravery.
Additionally, all those social entrepreneurs keep themselves constantly inspired by their surroundings, i.e. the team they work with, by the support they get from their friends and family, by the community and most importantly by the impact they create.
On 2 April 2018 all partners in the BASET project gathered for the 2nd project meeting in Piraeus, Greece. The project coordinator Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club (KISMC) and the project partners CEED Bulgaria, IDEC, Caban Capital and Creative District presented social entrepreneurship case studies from each country with regard to the Social Entrepreneurship Development Model (SEDM) for BASET: Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training.
Each partner had the chance to talk about the social entrepreneurship environment in their country whereas many case studies encouraged interesting discussions comparing the ecosystems in a variety of European regions. Furthermore, the main topic that everyone provided feedback was on the SEDM progress - such as results from the focus group that took place in Sofia, framework and suggestions for the content of the model and the main concepts, existing models and frameworks for social and business enterprises were analyzed together with previous and ongoing Erasmus+ projects on Social entrepreneurship.
The project meeting helped the entire project team sync their efforts in a direction that would be beneficial to all stakeholders in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. The meeting was also focused on discussions about the project activities, dissemination strategy, financial and administration details. All partners agreed on next steps and the evaluation and quality assurance framework for the project.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Before introducing a few examples of social innovation, it's important to actually understand what social innovation really is. As the European Commission has simply defined it "social innovations are new ideas that meet social needs, create social relationships and form new collaborations." To complement this definition, a NESTA's report focused on social innovation outlines very well that "social innovations are modest and incremental; others are systemic and fundamental".
Social innovators from all over the world are bringing attention to social issues and providing solutions in incredible and novel ways. Therefore, we have reviewed various sources and chose to show you the following 3 examples of social innovations that would be interesting to take a look at.
3 Social Innovations
1. BAKEYS - an Indian company that manufactures edible cutlery. This startup produces eco-friendly cutlery instead of plastic ones. Their substitution to plastic is not only delicious cutlery in various flavours but helps cut the quantity of plastic ending up in the ocean and into landfills.
Moreover, Bakeys produces more environmentally friendly than biodegradable plastic utensils made from corn plastics. They also raised funding through a Kickstarter campaign back in 2016 which was more than 10 times from what they were looking to get.
2. THE READ READ - is an innovative learning device that teaches blind people and those with low vision how to read Braille. The way it works is by helping the user sound out every word they learn, i.e. each tile has Braille letters printed on metal as well as the device reads the letter out loud along with how many dots it contains.
3. PETIT PLI - a line of clothes that grows with the child using expansion and growth technology. It was founded by Ryan Yasin in London in 2017 addressing the ill fitting children's clothes on the market. The clothes are water resistant as well as wind resistant, lightweight, and gender-inclusive with pleated designs. They can also grow up to seven sizes. It's not only sustainable by reducing waste, but also can save families money on new clothes.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Social Business Model
The Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training /BASET/ Project No. 2017-1-BG01-KA204-036360 has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
This website reflects the views only of the author, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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