So you want to change the world and become a social entrepreneur? Before going too far in your new venture, make sure you possess these five essential qualities:
1. Unwavering Perseverance: Starting a successful business is hard. Starting a prosperous social enterprise is even harder. You must generate enough funds to keep your venture alive and also show social impact. You will undoubtedly struggle through tremendous hardships at the start; a successful social entrepreneur will not quit at the first sign of adversity but will persevere and learn quickly from his (her) failures.
2. Business Savvy: A successful social entrepreneur must be well-versed in business. You will need to know how to generate revenue through means other than philanthropic donations, drive sales, manage employees and satisfy investors. The skill-set and mentality of a successful business manager is very different from those of a social worker. Make sure there is someone with business savvy on board.
3. Strong Social/Environmental Values: You must be convinced that your social mission is more important than turning a profit; helping one more person is more important than making one more dollar of profit.
4. The Ability to Surround Yourself with Competent People: Many entrepreneurs believe they can do everything by themselves. They can’t. In order to run a successful social enterprise, you need to surround yourself with competent people that complement your skills.
5. Passion: As in any job, you need to like what you do. If you are not passionate about running your own social business, then it will likely fail. Passion will drive you to do your best and succeed in your endeavour.