Through a combination of two recent approaches to business can be the ultimate breakthrough for your company! As you read on, I will detail how that can be applied to a project and how it can be extremely beneficial.
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Social Enterprise is a business approach that allows corporations to go deeper than their main functions and directly contribute to social aspects of the society it is a part of. What sets this approach apart is that you help others while still generating revenue and growth.
Social Entrepreneurship can be applied in different ways, according to the different contexts companies face. This concept can generate distinct social impacts and improvements and is closely related to the organization’s core values and society’s needs, as I mentioned.
In Social Entrepreneurship, companies aspire to more than just making a profit and growing in their branches. They are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to planning their actions and processes and benefit others through their business.
What is the concept behind Design Thinking?
As some of you may be familiarized with, Design Thinking is a creative problem-solving strategy that utilizes based on art designers’ creation process.
This technique can be used for a wide range of purposes within an organization, such as:
– Creating new products and services
– Elaborating on new tools
– Perfecting existing services/products
This approach is used by market-leading companies such as Apple, Sony, and Protector & Gamble. And has shown itself to be highly effective for companies.
The structure for applying Design Thinking
This strategy-making process can be divided into a set of steps and stages. Since they may vary to better meet each corporation’s needs, some of them are listed below:
• Understand – At this stage of Design Thinking, you and your team need to imagine the needs and wants of the customers and what are some ways in which you can fulfill that.
But it is more than just asking for feedback, the team needs to walk in the client’s shoes and perceive any signs of unmet needs and desires.
• Test – Now that you understand where the customers are coming from, you can test your ideas out by performing some experiments.
Your team will see whether the product/service meets the original need and project.
• Materialize – With the final product’s price adjusted, it is time to materialize this innovation!
At this point of the process, you and your team should be able to point out what resources to use to effectively make this product, or service available for the market.
How can Design Thinking be useful for social entrepreneurship?
Design Thinking is closely related to social enterprise since at the core of this method we have explored and understood problems as well as found efficient and innovative ways to deal with them.
By applying this problem-solving strategy in your social-oriented project or business as a whole, you are more likely to find coherent and structured alternatives to the issues faced in the community.
The best aspect is that you provide a more creative, human, and dynamic way for your team to work with. And not only that, but you also promote improvement for society while still making a profit and growth in the market.
Can any company consider Social Entrepreneurship?
Essentially, any corporation, despite of its size or segment, can apply social entrepreneurship. Some industries and social contexts may demand more creativity and effort, but it is possible to benefit those around you when growing your business.
Organizations can positively impact their communities by evaluating their needs and the best ways in which the company can provide some kind of social service.
Practical ways to use Design Thinking to promote Social Entrepreneurship
Reinvesting some of the profit the company makes into society’s well-being can look different for each organization, some examples are listed here:
– Ecological projects
PastureMap (reducing the carbon footprint of cattle ranchers)
– Comunity-oriented projects
With Love L.A.
Asian Health Alliance
On the other hand, it is good to remind ourselves that, as I previously said, projects, especially community-oriented ones, are unique to their contexts, goals, and resources. That is why applying design thinking in your corporation may look different from the examples above.
- Skills and positive outcomes for the company:
Besides generating satisfied customers and revenue, applying Design Thinking to a social approach in business can positively impact the company by:
. Developing a project plan that is closer to the consumer
. Learning the power of adaptation
. Thinking out of the box
. Bringing a team spirit into your organization
. Positively contributing to the community
. More visibility in the local and global market
. More profit and growth
- Final thoughts
It is possible to promote the organization’s growth and profit while investing in the company’s surrounding community. That investment can be either environmental-focused or people-oriented.
Design Thinking contributes a lot to this business model, by helping to better identify issues and explore ways to solve them while benefiting both the for-profit business and the surrounding community.
Mobilizing these two approaches can cause a compelling impact on any business, therefore expand your knowledge into both of them!
Combining the innovative and customer-centered approach of Design Thinking with the social aspects of Social Enterprise models, your company can experience growth while generating great revenue!