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Dream Bigger, Plan Better: 7 Tips to Keep in Mind Before Starting a Social Enterprise

Most successful entrepreneurs follow comparable patterns and share similar basic characteristics and systems

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Succeeding as an entrepreneur takes hard work and perseverance, there has never been business-startup which has magically been bestowed success overnight.

Most successful entrepreneurs follow comparable patterns and share similar basic characteristics and systems. Hundreds of online articles and published books claim to know the secret of success in business, but for the most part, they boil down to the immense support system and environment that cultivates an entrepreneur to succeed in their interventions. Here is a look at the outline of what an entrepreneur needs, discovered by the team at Transforming India Initiative – Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship Programme:

1. THE IDEA

Every great enterprise starts with a great idea.  And great ideas need a thorough understanding of the problem and the community that the problem is affecting.  Any idea that is designed without taking into account all the economic, social and cultural factors that affect the community is bound to be ineffective.

2. THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE

Entrepreneurs, social or otherwise, have to possess some management skills and knowledge to be successful social entrepreneurs. Apart from knowledge of their domain, entrepreneurs need to be adept at financial accounting, marketing strategising, team building, legal frameworks, and operations management.


If you believe that you can create this change too, join the Transforming India Initiative’s (TII) Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship Programme. Applications close 31st of August.

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3. THE MINDSET

Gallup conducted research on 2,500 entrepreneurs to understand what it takes to create a business, to scale it, make profit and create jobs. The ten key talents of successful entrepreneurs are: business focus, confidence, creative thinking, delegation, determination, independence, knowledge-seeking, promotion, relationship-building and risk-taking. If you look at successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Dhirubhai Ambani, Ratan Tata or Verghese Kurien, their personal characteristics and traits are spoken about as much as their skills and abilities. So while skills and knowledge are important, attitudes and approaches play a crucial role as well in becoming a social entrepreneur.

 4. MONEY AND FINANCES

All enterprises need seed funds to establish and run their businesses. This can sometimes prove to be a roadblock for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. For social entrepreneurs especially this can prove to be a challenge as their enterprise might not have a business model that is focused only on profit. And it might take a while to generate that profit, since they are working in far more challenging situations than usual whereas most investors look for enterprises that will generate a high profit fairly quickly. Patient low cost capital is required for social enterprises to start and sustain.


If you believe that you can create this change too, join the Transforming India Initiative’s (TII) Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship Programme. Applications close 31st of August.

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5. CO-FOUNDERS AND TEAM

One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs have when they are starting out is finding a co-founder. In the normal course of things a co-founder who shares your vision, matches your working style and has complementary skills might be hard to find. But having a co-founder means having someone with whom you can distribute your work, bounce off ideas and share the risk.

6. MENTORS

The right mentor has helped many an enterprise to start up and take off. A good mentor can help a first time entrepreneur by giving unbiased feedback on their enterprise, connecting them to the right people, making sure they are on the right path and keeping them motivated. Mentors from the same field can prove to be an invaluable resource for most entrepreneurs.

7. THE NETWORK

A recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, says that informal professional networks and communities are more important for entrepreneurial success than formal structures. The advice and support of peers and mentors can prove to be important in the early stages when the entrepreneur has to overcome many challenges. Peer advice can also be very valuable when navigating the complex legal and regulatory ecosystem. Many entrepreneurs also rely on their informal networks when they are reaching out to their customers and testing out their products.

Get the best of all this with TII’s Fellowship Programme!


If you believe you can take an unconventional path to success, join TII today.


If you believe that you can create this change too, join the Transforming India Initiative’s (TII) Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship Programme. Applications close 31st of August.

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ALC India’s Transforming India Initiative is a 2-year social entrepreneurship fellowship programme where fellows are equipped to discover, dream, design, and develop their own social start-ups!