Our new SSE Australia Chief Executive Celia Hodson shares her tips on what it takes to get a social enterprise underway. Celia has over 10 years experience in social enterprise development and joins us from the UK where her recent roles included CEO of the Eastern Enterprise Hub and Deputy CEO of the Social Enterprise Coalition.
1: Have a vision. Your vision is your destination. You’ll need a map to help you reach that destination, which will be made up of goals and results. The vision is the vital part, otherwise, you won’t know where you are heading and your goals will be irrelevant.
2: Use your influence. All enterprises or ventures need partners to grow. Successful Social Entrepreneurs know the importance of filling the gaps and weaknesses in their own skill set or business idea, by finding the parts of the jigsaw puzzle to create the best chance of success so why not learn form the experts.
3: Build your confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself or your idea, why should anyone else? Gain confidence through gaining experience, skills and knowledge. Change your perception of failure to realise that it provides feedback. Feedback provides essential learning to help know what not to do the next time.
4: Make a commitment. Committing to follow through once a decision is made is an invaluable ally on your road to success. Be prepared to work hard and make sacrifices. Commit to a common goal and make it happen, but commit to yourself and your health too. Maintaining a healthy work life balance will keep you sane.
5: Aim for results. Social Entrepreneurs make things happen. They are driven by results. Planning for your success is as important as achieving success. You need to know exactly how you got there so, if you choose to, your success can be duplicated, scaled up and multiplied, and it is that which turns a social entrepreneur into a serial social entrepreneur.
6: Take action. Action is the bridge between your vision and results. Action involves figuring out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Without action there would be no results.
7: Timing. Anticipating the changing needs of the market and partners is crucial. Timing when to enter a market or not will help optimise success, as will knowing the right time and circumstances to start your venture.
8: Perseverance. Successful Social Entrepreneurs go the extra mile. Perseverance, sheer determination and tenacity are core characteristics of the mindset of a Social Entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs battle against all the odds to build their enterprise or venture and always appreciate when it is time to get out. Try to have flexibility to work outside your own comfort zones in order to bring your dreams to fruition.
9: Be caring. Relationships with people are key. Business, partner and personal relationships should be cherished. Treat people how you yourself would want to be treated. Always remember that people are the lifeblood and engine room of any social enterprise.
10: Use your intuition. Listen to your instincts. They can protect you from making poor decisions and guide you down the right path……Says she who has been married twice!
Feel free to share your tips here too!