As we all know, society is facing new challenges. 2020 may be decisive in terms of changes, but, some understood the stakes earlier and are already fighting to make a difference.
Mentalities are not the same anymore, needs are evolving, and people want to consume differently. Buying from a socially conscious brand is now on the top 5 drivers influencing purchase decisions.
The Social Entrepreneur
The changing society has led to the rise of a new type of entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur as we call them. They represent a community of people who want to use their skills to make a change. It is not only a fashionable term for marketing purposes, but instead, it represents real-life entrepreneurs willing to have a positive impact. Creating a sustainable business is a high source of motivation and happiness as it is way more satisfying to work on a project that can make a difference. Simon Sinek explains it well: “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”
Social and Technological Innovation
If you are interested in or acting in the social sector, there are three terms you want to know: social innovation, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. But more than just knowing them, you need to differentiate them. Social TrendSpotter states that Social Innovation is more about an idea that creates changes. Social Enterprise is about the business model maximizing social and financial return, and Social Entrepreneurship is about mindset within an organization.
In the end, it’s all about having a new solution to a rising or unsatisfied social need. The truth is, Social Innovation by itself is limited. In most cases, it involves more collaboration and needs to go fast. Therefore, combining it with technological innovation can make it even more efficient. Moreover, it could also enable the company to measure the impact of the solution. That brings more credibility to a project and highlights its results. When it’s aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, can offer new possibilities while measuring the impact.
What does the framework of the United Nations’ SDG offer?
But what are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)? The United Nations made a plan to create a more sustainable future by 2030. They developed 17 different SDG, followed by targets and indicators, addressing the global challenges we are facing, including the ones related to society and the environment. By offering a framework to social innovators, the United Nations want to emphasize the fact that all indicators are interconnected and that each one influences the other. The goals intend to bring millions of people previously left largely to public aid into the global economy creating at least 12 trillion dollars in new market opportunities again by 2030.
This proves that being profitable and sustainable is actually possible.
What about the investors?
That is especially important for investors. As SDGs offer a framework, it is also the case for investors as it can support them in understanding the sustainability trends relevant to investment activity and their fiduciary duties. More and more investors are specializing in impact investing, and as society is evolving towards social responsibility and sustainability, this is a perfect match. Therefore, they also tend to consider how their money can contribute to global societal issues, making social impact a new key index for VC’s and investors. If you have a project that can be profitable AND has a positive impact, this is a golden opportunity.
“You really can change the world if you care enough” — Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children’s Defense Fund.
I have one question for you: do you care enough?