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Hey & happy Friday!
Man, I have gotten totally jazzed these last few weeks getting back into the groove of things here at Change Nation. As I’ve taken a dive back into the world of social entrepreneurship, I’ve become more convinced than ever that we are on the ground floor of the largest movement in a generation. The idea that entrepreneurs can make a dollar AND a difference isn’t just some passing fad, rather we change agents are a force that will transform business for good.
I’m so convinced of this in fact that I say this to big business: beware of us.
I say this because I can see how the trends are moving, and the simple fact is that if traditional businesses don’t start practicing social entrepreneurship at some level, they will be left behind. Let’s unpack the stats that are making me believe this:
) Millennials – You really can’t have any conversation about social entrepreneurship without bringing millennials into the mix. In case you hadn’t heard, millennials are the young ones who were born from 1980 on. I’m one of em’, and we all pretty much grew up with computers and the internet. Because of this, we’re the most plugged in, connected, and otherwise wired generation that’s ever come along. Though we make up a relatively small percentage of the population, we have a massive impact on things like culture, technology, and (surprise surprise) the internet. Given the fact that so much business happens online now, it’s little wonder that a disproportionate number of millennials also happen to be billionaires (Mark Zuckerberg anyone?). Anyway, the fact that we make up a big chunk of the workforce, have $200 billion in annual buying power, and also demand socially conscious products makes us a force to be reckoned with for businesses of all types.
) Millennials want meaning over money. Yup, you read that right. More than a fat paycheck, millennials want work that has meaning. Businesses have to beware of this, or they’ll risk losing out on top talent.
) Millennials will chose cause based products over regular ones any day of the week (and twice on Sunday). Stack two products on the shelf that are equal in every way, except for one has a cause and another doesn’t. The traditional product will lose out every time. Millennials are even willing to pay more to a company exercising social good (source)!
Millennials are rabidly loyal to cause based brands. Millennials want businesses of all kinds to do good for the world, and they reward the ones that do by buying from them again and again and again.
Millennials have great BS detectors. Some of us were practically born with smartphones in our hands, so we’ve gotten really good at making sure a company is being authentic. If a business isn’t genuine in its social mission, we’ll find them out, expose them on social media, and make sure that they never get a millennial dollar again.
Big business should beware of us in social entrepreneurship, but only in the sense that I think they should change their behavior or risk losing us as customers. So, next time anyone tries to tell you that social entrepreneurship is ‘just a fad’ show them the stats above and see what they think.