So You Want to Start Your Own Social Enterprise?

Think about these three questions:

  • Does my idea solve a problem?
  • Who will this business benefit?
  • How do you combine profit with purpose to create a thriving social enterprise?


Here is an example: The WISE Project was an ESF-funded project coordinated by the University College of Leuven & Limberg. Social entrepreneurs were interviewed to understand and identify some commonality between them, maybe even some common models. In summary, they would support the importance of knowing why.

Lessons from the WISE* Project

KEY steps for Starting Up
  • Identify Need and Vision
  • Have a Core Purpose
  • Careful who you speak to….
  • Learn to say ‘No’
KEY areas to consider before you start
  • Keep your salary for as long as you can!
  • Use different business and marketing models
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Entrepreneurship as a State of Mind

The Three Components of Creativity Within every individual, creativity is a function of three components: expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation.
Theresa Amabile (1987)

“Things constantly change so we must adapt”

Who moved my cheese: Dr Spencer Johnson

In the following video you can find out more:

The Skills Required for a Social Enterprise:

  • Includes a range of knowledge
  • A range of transversal and transferable skills
  • A range of personal skills and dispositions

So, access to training needs a rethink

Lessons Learnt from Existing Social Enterprises (Case Studies)

  • There are always challenges to overcome
  • You need a Roadmap/ Action Plan based on yOUr vision and targets
  • Leadership and control – a new approach is needed
  • Mission Creep – easily happens when responding to a Black Swan Event like Covid-19
  • Responding to ‘unknowns’ …… isn’t easy! (The Dunning-Kruger Effect)
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In the following video summs up the lessons learned in this lesson: