My name is Sam van Tol and I am the founder of Correctbook. In this blog, I will explain 5 reasons why I started my social business. Social entrepreneurship is an upcoming form of entrepreneurship and I truly believe it will takeover this decennia of entrepreneurship. To get better understanding what social entrepreneurship actually is: social entrepreneurs solve a social problem using a commercial business model. But why I am so fascinated about this?
- Social impact could be drastically increased using a business model
Earning money by doing good is considered wrong for a long time, which is ridiculous. A charity, using all their money for the greater good, is dependent on donations and gifts. People do not like to give money, because they get nothing in return. Social entrepreneurs use the powerful force behind commerce, a business model, to solve a social problem. People buy products and services, which will bring value to them. There will be people buying your products, which supports to your impact, who would otherwise never had donate a penny.
- Giving back to society gives more happiness in life
‘Money is not everything’ is hard to believe for many of us. However, people get more aware of this statement in a later stage in life. They start to give back after working hard for their entire life, with donations, voluntary work etc. The happiness of giving back to society is much more than money ever will give. I discovered this happiness when I was on vacation in South Africa. I saw people asking for their leftovers of their pizza in a restaurant and gave it to someone on the street. I decided to do the same. I was a bit scared about how the man was going to respond. It is an unusual thing here in the Netherlands. What happened was incredible. The man was so happy with a cold slice of pizza. The laugh on his face was a turning point in my life. I decided to quit my job and started the social company, Correctbook, to emphasize the problem of worldwide illiteracy and to actually reduce it.
- Social entrepreneurship creates more awareness of social problems
Lets take Correctbook as example for this reason. Correctbook offers different reusable writing materials. People can buy something and simultaneously give reusable writing materials to children in need. There are several reasons why someone buys our product: the ease of use, practical reasons, sustainability etc. In either way, they discover that the lack of school materials is a big underestimated problem in the world.
- Social entrepreneurship enforces the market to become more social
There are a lot of reasons why people buy a product or service: price, quality, branding, ease of use, looks etc. If you compare two products or services with exactly the same features, but only one is giving back to society, you will most likely choose the social enterprise. This will lead to decreasing business results of the ‘common’ business, which is forced to become social. A good example of this is the cacao industry. The social enterprise Tony Chocolonely started with a ‘slave free’ cacao production. Consumers buy their chocolate because of the taste in the first place, but do not underestimate the additional buying motives social impact gives. They are taking massive market shares in the chocolate industry. You see other chocolate companies, as Kitkat, following: http://www.nestle.com/media/news/KitKat-100-percent-sustainable-cocoa
- A social purpose will give you more motivation
If you truly believe your product or service could help a social problem, you get such a motivation. However, remind always that if ‘act’ social, because of commercial reasons, your business will be worse off.
I hope some of you will be inspired though this article. Do you want to know more about my social businesses and the reasons behind them? Take a look at the websites:
More news! I decided to give presentations and workshops about social entrepreneurship. If you are interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Lets get social!