One of the definitions of the social innovation I have seen is “a new solution to an existent social problem that is more successful, efficient, sustainable or fair than previous solutions”. The positive impact of this innovation should be more beneficial for society rather than private individuals. But just imagine if social innovation could be applied to business, as well as to the greater public good. What would that do to the world as we know it?
I remember when I was starting out as a social entrepreneur that certain individuals were doubtful of my prospects, thinking perhaps that I was slightly crazy to think so far outside of the box, or perhaps they were suspicious of my motives. Despite this, I never stopped believing that I could align my business goals with my mission to help and have a positive impact on people in need, wherever I could. As a result, I created Banya Family Placement Agency, marrying my need to make a living with my sincere desire to help those vulnerable children I felt needed protection and nurturing. I also eventually went on to create Vana Trust, a charitable organisation which supports women and children in need in Africa, therefore uplifting their whole communities. At the time, I felt like a lone star rider, a renegade pioneering social enterprise in a world where only certain forms of charitable support where expected or envisioned. Today, there are many like me who know that they can offer real contributions through their innovative thinking coupled with continued efforts to help those in need.
A result of my years of experience in social enterprise is an innovation in my own career development. Earlier I was only focused on my mission to help women and children and how to realise the results I wanted. Today, I’m surprised at how many people I encounter who ask me how I did it, what my tips and advice are on success and social enterprise. For this reason I now also coach and publicly speak about how you can be successful in social enterprise and what it really takes to turn your ideas into a world-saving, money making success.
Attend my workshop on 17th December in London to kick-start your social enterprise.