I interview Social Entrepreneurs the world over on my podblog. I’ve also worked alongside these folks for about a decade. Across all of this, I’ve noticed common themes in the ways that they build successful cause based businesses – so, I offer these 10 keys as the first step on your journey to pursuing your dream of sparking social change. I’ll publish new keys often, so follow this series, learn from it, incorporate it into your work, and become a part of our movement at socialchangenation.com
2.) Create things that spark conversations.
If you haven’t noticed, I really like using examples to drive my points home, so here’s another one: Panda is another company I interviewed. They have a saweet one-for-one model (remember, that’s the TOMS model – get one/give one) through which the purchase of one set of eyewear leads to a vision exam for someone in dire need.
Think about that!! These sunglasses are something that people wear on their faces every single day – what’s more? They are incredibly unique sunglasses! Made from bamboo, they are sustainable, look wicked cool, and are totally unlike any other pair of sunglasses you’ve ever seen.
These cats founded the awesome social venture that is Panda
(Note the saweet bamboo sunglasses they’re rockin’)
So what do you imagine happens when folks are walking down the street and rocking a pair o’ Panda?? That’s right! It starts conversations. And if you don’t plan on creating work that starts conversations, you may as well stop now. A critical mission for you as a change agent is to get people talking about change. Panda shows us the way to do this with excellence. When someone asks me about my Panda gear, I quickly launch into a conversation about the importance of using sustainable materials in eyewear, about how cool I look in my bamboo J, and, most importantly, how my purchase contributed to an important social ill the world faces – that people in poor countries are walking around near blind for no other reason than they lack access to the most basic of vision care. My purchase has made an impact on that issue – and it’s an impact I understand, and want to talk about with others. When’s the last time you heard someone raving about their latest purchase at Wal-Mart?
3 Quick Tips to get Started on this Key:
– Think about creating a wearable product that customers will proudly rock.
– What are some ways you can not only weave a cause into your business, but also into the materials you use, your manufacturing process, and the statements you make to the industry you’re in.
– Vincent struggled with vision impairment, which is why he was inspired to co-found Panda. What personal struggles have you had that could lead you to social entrepreneurship?
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