What do Eva Longoria, social entrepreneurship, and R10 million of funding have in common? The ability to significantly impact social enterprise and perhaps the world’s future.
Longoria was announced as one of three judges in “The Venture” – Chivas Regal’s search to find and support the most innovative start-ups from across the world.
Alongside judges Joe Huff (Founder of LSTN Sound Co.), Sonal Shah (founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation) and Alexandre Ricard (Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO), Longoria will be tasked with dividing a portion of Chivas’ R10 million fund amongst “The Venture” finalists – inspirational social entrepreneurs who aim to succeed in business while having a positive impact on the lives of others.
“There are so many companies that don’t understand social responsibility and giving back, so when I heard of Chivas The Venture I was intrigued because my life is focused on entrepreneurship and philanthrophy, so this is a personal interest of mine,” Longoria states.
She sees her role on the panel of judges as one of mutual benefit, bringing her research and experiences in entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures to the event while meeting other promising social entrepreneurs from around the world.
“Using business as a force for good is not only a passion of mine but, really, it’s the only way that we’re going to change the world.”
While your business may not have started out as a social enterprise, that doesn’t mean you can’t add in some elements of social entrepreneurship.
Want your business to be more socially conscious? Here are four steps you can take to make social responsibility a priority in your business.
1. Start from within
Examine your processes, the inputs, and the outputs. Are you sourcing from fair labor areas? Do you use sustainable products? Can you create a point-of-purchase opportunity where a percentage goes to a cause that is authentic to your program and brand? A great example of this is Tom’s. You buy a pair of shoes, and a pair of shoes is provided for a child in need.
“Tom’s is a great example of a business build with social responsibility in mind from the onset,” Longoria states, “To create a full-circle social business plan, social consciousness needs to be in the DNA of your company.”
2. Think local, impact global
Although your business may physically exist in and you may serve a local community, your impacts can go far beyond. A product, process, system or service you create can perhaps solve an issue in another community.
One of the most exciting aspects of being asked to judge, states Longoria, is the ability to see how a product created with one community in mind can impact so many other areas.
3. Insert social elements into your process
Finalist Jaco Gerrits of CrashDetech from South Africa shares, “I’ve always loved the idea that entrepreneurship and business can be used as a force for good. As an entrepreneur I’m continuously on the lookout for how to solve problems in new and unique ways. There are few things as rewarding as the ability to positively contribute to the lives of others, whilst doing what you love.”
Vote for Jaco here.
Look at your processes and see where you could shift responsibilities or open opportunities. Longoria shared the example of a lingerie company in Venezuela that outsources the finishing touches on pieces, such as beading and embroidery, to women in impoverished areas.
This creates jobs – a sign of a functioning economy – and provides opportunities for others through paying a fair wage and bettering the surrounding communities in which the company operates.
4. Know your purpose, your why
“I get what you make, but why are you making it? And who are you making it for? Those are simple but big questions,” Longoria says.
Citing Simon Sinek’s TED talk “Start with Why”, she adds “Like Sinek mentions, it’s not just what you make, or how you make it, but why you make it that matters. The why is your purpose and is a huge driver of social entrepreneurship and social consciousness.”
Watch the talk below:
This why often involves an outside-in approach
Finalist Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino, Columbia, Conceptos Plasticos S.A.S. agrees. “To create a social enterprise you need to think about other people, understand their situation and understand that ‘what isn’t good for you, isn’t good for anyone’.”
Connecting the dots
Social entrepreneurship doesn’t happen in isolation. Bringing these challenges, processes and ideas to the forefront is how we create more meaningful and lasting impacts. Longoria is honoured to be a part of this space and be a champion social entrepreneurial ventures.
“The great thing about this experience is that it’s really connecting the dots. It’s exciting to be a part of giving people the platform to share their ideas and in doing so the ideas being shared will help others think about and tackle a range of social issues. As a judge I’m really just one of the many dots that is being connected.”
If you want to see how 27 finalists from around the world present their ideas, receive feedback from judges, and pitch their plans for a piece of the R10 million in funding, follow the show at TheVenture.com where you can vote for your favourite social enterprise from now until June 13.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Business Opportunities In Printing And Signage
The event is taking place from 12-14 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.
In an entrepreneurial environment, people are seeking innovative ways to make extra money. The signage and printing industry offers opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses.
These opportunities will be showcased at the upcoming Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo, which is co-located with Africa Print for commercial print solutions and Africa LED for professional LED lighting. The event is taking place from 12-14 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.
T-Shirt and Bag Printing
Embellishments and glitter help transform a simple shirt into a unique garment, and depending on the specific shirt and techniques used, it could become a high priced item. Shirts and bags can be customised, a key aspect to targeting millennials, who require unique products, want to stand out and want items that are Instagram-worthy. You can target this market with personalised bags and unique T-shirts, which do not require large and expensive equipment to produce.
Mugs and Promotional Gifting
While others may see public holidays as opportunities to relax, entrepreneurs can see them as money-making opportunities. Capitalise on trendy markets and popular holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day by producing themed and personalised gifts. Other profitable options include: shopping bags, decor and invites, promotional, corporate and safety wear, wood, vinyl, paper, plastics, metals, flat substrates like clipboards, binders, notebooks, mouse pads, coasters, business cards, stickers and corrugated signs or posters, smart phones and tablet cases.
Business owners are constantly seeking ways to get their brands noticed. And with all the gigantic billboards, street pole advertisements and other media vying for consumers’ attention, it’s difficult to stand out. Enter vehicle wrapping, which is an effective promotional tool as it’s cost-effective, impactful and long-lasting. Besides cost-effective general wraps for corporate fleets, custom vehicle wrapping offers special effects that create Instagram-worthy wraps that get brands noticed.
Of course, these business opportunities require training and some research. Luckily, industry experts will be available at the Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo to answer visitors’ questions. There are also free educational features such as a T-Shirt and Bag printing workshop featuring demonstrations by local experts on T-shirts and bags with speciality printing techniques as well as the Textile Experience, which shows how to screen print onto T-shirts.
Opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses will be showcased in daily 30 minute Business Opportunity sessions. For more information about the event, and to register online, please visit: http://bit.ly/EntrepreneurSignAfrica.
10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time
Find your perfect match for a successful part-time start-up.
Launching a company – even if it’s operated part-time – is all about drawing on your skills, talents and interests to create a viable business.
What you know and what you’re good at form a good basis for a part-time business because these companies either become an extension of what you enjoy doing most or they are based on your strengths.
Working part-time while still maintaining a permanent job is time consuming and often exhausting, so choosing what you take pleasure in or are good at can keep you focused and motivated. The right fit is important when it comes to launching a part-time business. Selling a service rather than a product does not require large start-up costs, which means you can grow your business without financing until it becomes self-sustaining.
Corporate Communications & Promotions
Corporate communications covers a host of areas, mainly because this is the sector that takes care of how companies look to the outside world – something that is very definitely a service, but also that is not often taken care of in-house. If you can write, edit, have a knack for advertising, can take photographs or create promotional and corporate videos, you can offer your services part-time to companies both large and small that are in need of these services.
A 7-Step Guide To Starting Your Own Trade Business
With that sorted, it is time to get on with the more exciting operational stuff.
Skilled tradesmen are always in demand. Whether you are a plumber, electrician, cabinetmaker, refrigeration expert, tiler or builder, there is a ton of work out there. For many, the best way to make the most of the opportunity is to open your own business.
Where do you start? The first step is to register your business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Look for a catchy name that is easy to spell and memorable – you do not want customers to struggle. The CIPC will tell you which names are taken. It is also a good idea to do a trademark search before deciding on a name. Register with SARS and make sure that all your tax affairs are in order.
It is a very good idea to get a good accountant right at the early stages of the game. They can also help you set up the legislative requirements for running a business. The National Small Business Chamber is a non-profit organisation that offers a range of services to its members that aim to help them grow faster, save money and receive the support they need.
With that sorted, it is time to get on with the more exciting operational stuff.
1. Finding customers
You want to find customers in order to grow your business beyond the ones you already have. These days, that means a website and some smart online marketing.
This can be as simple as setting up a Facebook page and any one of several other social media sites (like Instagram and LinkedIn). These services are at no-cost to you and allow you to quickly build up a following of loyal customers. You can share ‘jobs well done’, so prospective customers can see what you are capable of, while your contact details are easily accessible. In due course, consider some paid averts on relevant social media platforms and perhaps a website of your own. It is a good way to get potential customers on board.
At the same time, list your services in community newspapers, noticeboards and newsletters so everyone in the area can easily see that you are available and what it is you do. Also, keep your eye on social media community groups – and ask family, friends and existing clients to refer and/or recommend your services when an opportunity arises.
Finally, there are many government initiatives and non-profit organisations whose aim is to help small businesses succeed – with a particular emphasis on black-owned businesses. This help could range from facilitating access to finance, all the way to mentorship. Spend some time finding out what help is on offer. The SME Movement site also has this kind of information.
2. Stay focused
For those just starting out, there might be a temptation to take any job that crosses your path. Rather stick to your area of expertise to build a reputation based on proven skills. If you are an electrician with a little plumbing experience, for example, tackling a piping job could cause more trouble than it is worth. Every trade is different and you are an expert for a reason.
Leave the other work for experts in those fields – but build up relationships with them so that you can refer work to each other.
3. Ride on your qualifications and references
You have spent a lot of time getting certified. Let your customers know about your qualifications and experience by putting it on your Facebook page, your invoices, e-mails and other communications. The same goes for references; these are valuable and provide evidence of your ability to get the job done. Ask for a reference when the job is complete and then on to social media it goes. The good news with social media, by the way, is that these references do not ever go away.
4. Stay on top of the paperwork
The good old days of doing business on a handshake may be behind us. Providing quotes, contracts, invoices and records of payments electronically makes paperwork a whole lot easier by creating a digital archive where physical copies aren’t needed, but it serves the same purpose, when it is formally recorded, it is far easier to see what has been agreed to, done and paid for. Do not skimp here, even the best customer service provider relationships can go awry if verbal agreements are all you have to go on.
5. Register with your trade association (and invest in CPD)
Being a member of a trade association (like Master Builders, the Institute of Plumbing or other professional bodies) lends credibility to what you are doing. It also provides access to new customers should larger contractors need to sub-contract. Your trade association also formalises training and continuous professional development (CPD).
6. Get business insurance
All too often, this crucial coverage is ignored by those starting out on their own. You want to protect tools and equipment on the one hand and you also want broadform public liability to safeguard yourself, your employees and your business against third party claims should something go wrong on the job. It provides cover in connection with your normal business activities and also your liability if any employees are injured in the course of work.
Putting the right insurance in place can mean the difference between staying in business for the long term or folding the minute the tools grow legs and disappear.
7. Deliver good service
Do not forget that every job is a potential reference and, at the very least, is your entry into that client’s network of friends or business associates. Concentrate on giving good service and actively request feedback so you can remedy any shortfalls. A take-it-or-leave it attitude may be relaxing, but it will prevent your business from growing to what it potentially can be.
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