Sometimes corporate jobs just aren’t the right fit for all of us. Although it might feel as though corporate jobs are the only ones that are available, thankfully there are other options within the entrepreneurial sphere. If you like to work with people and you’re tired of the traditional daily grind, something a little bit more social might be a better fit for you.
Entrepreneurship doesn’t simply relate to products. These days, those who are passionate about people and social causes can combine these two fields into social entrepreneurship. Today, we’ll discuss what social entrepreneurship is, what skills you might need in order to be successful, and why you might want to make the career switch.
What Is Social Entrepreneurship?
Being a social entrepreneur isn’t quite the same as being any other self-starter. Social entrepreneurship combines the areas of social work and philanthropy with an entrepreneurial spirit. As a social entrepreneur, you can recognize personal strengths in yourself but capitalize on your skill as well. As with any other product, you might see a need and want to fill it. As a social entrepreneur, it’s the same. You see a social need that is perhaps not being met, and you can turn that into your expertise — your business venture.
In order to become a social entrepreneur, you should identify certain skills in yourself or perhaps skills that you’d like to develop as a social entrepreneur. For example, social entrepreneurs are able to identify significant social injustices or issues that are going on and want to do what they can to incite change. For example, socially responsible corporations divest from fossil fuel stocks and corporations doing harm to the environment and our planet.
Furthermore, they often think of their cause as a group effort and not something that one person can solve on their own. You should be someone that is prepared to involve other organizations in your practice as well as participate in direct change within a community. Social entrepreneurs, much like traditional social workers, are individuals who often lead by example. They want to start a wave of change, and that starts by taking targeted steps toward change within a community.
With that being said, you can see that social entrepreneurs are also often great public speakers. It helps to have the skills necessary to clearly and effectively communicate your platform with other investors, organizations, and those who are affected by the social problem. Social entrepreneurs often feel a deep need to change social injustices in the world, and as such they must be able to communicate clear steps and a plan to effectively instate change for an individual, family, and/or for the bigger picture.
Why Might You Want to Be a Social Entrepreneur?
Job stability is often a wonderful reason for individuals wanting to switch over to a social-centric career. Social work in general is a sector that is unlikely to diminish over time. In fact, according to Rutgers University from 2014 to 2024, the social work niche is expected to increase by around 7 percent. Although that might not seem like a huge jump, that amount of acceleration could create around 75,000 new jobs within the field. While many other corporate style jobs may come and go, social work is here to stay.
Another great reason to choose social entrepreneurship has to do with the idea of a corporate career altogether. If you’re someone who is a self-starter and you don’t necessarily like to be held within a corporate box or agenda, social entrepreneurship may be able to offer you something that traditional jobs simply cannot fulfill. Entrepreneurs have their own idea about business and how they can improve people’s lives via a certain product. If you mix that with a sociological perspective, not only can you start down a rewarding philanthropic career, but you can do it on your own, without potentially stifling corporate structure.
In order to become a successful entrepreneur, you must be able to conquer any vocational stresses that you might experience. That is to say, many people suffer from work-related stress, and entrepreneurship can eliminate many corporate stresses such as managerial problems, corporate limitations, and having to adhere to a certain lifestyle and schedule due to your job. Entrepreneurship allows you to create your own schedule, think outside the box to resolve problems, and be your own boss. However, you have to be willing to act as a boss does, which means you are now a representative and public figure for your brand. You still absolutely must have structure, a clear business plan, and the skills necessary to network and market yourself.
So, while these traits of entrepreneurship may appeal to someone who prefers to not be limited by corporate life and can easily feel burnt out by traditional work, these points can also raise a whole plethora of other concerns and anxieties related to your job. As such, organization, a clear plan and projection for the future, and the determination necessary to start and maintain your own brand are essential for this career path.
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Social entrepreneurship is such an exciting and innovative career path for those interested in social work and problems. In the information we’ve discussed, you can see that social entrepreneurship is such a unique blend of entrepreneurial traits as well as a desire to help those in need. If you feel that you have a self-starter attitude, mixed with a desire to do good in your community (and perhaps the world!) social entrepreneurship is something you should explore.