Start a Venture

This area of the website is dedicated to the best and most updated articles related to starting your own socially entrepreneurial venture. While far from complete, it will continue to grow over the coming months.

Brainstorming

Great brainstorming is one of the most powerful and one of the most misunderstood methods in the in the innovators toolbox. ItÛªs a special kind of collaboration with specific rules of behavior designed to maximize idea generation. Check out this article to learn what those rules are and how to lead your own brainstorming session.

Business Plans

For most social enterprises, regardless of whether they are for profit or nonprofit, you will more than likely have to write a business plan. While a bit daunting at first, a business plan is useful in that it helps crystallize where you want the organization to be, how you will get there, and who will be involved/necessary for that process. This article shows you how to approach this process and develop your own business plan.

Case Studies

Case studies are an educational tool used to look at an organization at a given point in time through a specific lens to evaluate a particular decision and its results. This article will show you how to conduct one and how it is useful for any organization.

Leadership

Leadership is one of the most important aspects of any organization, yet is also one of the most difficult terms to define. Leadership means different things to different people, and it becomes obvious that everyone seems to have a different definition of leadership based on the sheer number of books written on the topic. While we canÛªt give a complete summary of all the different theories, this article details some of the greatest qualities we have found in the best leaders.

Marketing

Marketing is one of those dirty-words in todayÛªs society, and in many cases, for good reason. But in its essence, marketing is about telling the story and sharing the experience of an idea or organization. Marketing runs in to trouble when the expectations outsize the experience and the wording/phrasing promises more than it delivers. The key, then, is to deliver on what you promise, and this article shows you how.

Metrics & Analytical Methods

ÛÏIf you canÛªt measure it, you canÛªt manage it.Û? This common piece of advice from the business world is starting to take hold in the nonprofit/social-e sector, and for good reason. This article provides all of the most important information you need to know to incorporate metrics into your organization.

Mission Statement

The guiding star for any social venture is its mission statement. Through a well-written, concise, agreed upon mission statement, an organization can make decisions on a day to day basis that keep the long term vision in sight. This article will help you develop clarity and an action oriented mission statement that provide a better sense of what your organization is trying to do.

Negotiating

Negotiating is one of the most misunderstood but arguably the most important tools to have in life. Every exchange involves some level of negotiation, from determining what clothes to wear in the morning to convincing a friend to see your point of view or do something with you. Discussed in this article are some of the reasons why negotiating is important, as well as a process for negotiating effectively.

Networking / Schmoozing

Networking is not simply the exchange of business cards, and schmoozing is not simply chatting up a potential boss simply to get a job. While both terms generally receive these negative connotations, there is much more to both and they should be considered in a much more positive light. For social entrepreneurs, it is even more important to have the right contacts because you need to recruit new team members, attract donors, and develop and maintain partnerships, and this article shows you how.

Nonprofit Fundraising

Every organization needs money to operate. Nonprofits are unique in that they usually have to convince other people that what they are doing is worthy of their donation. Raising money is a continuous process for the nonprofit, and there are many different ways to raise money. This article tells how many nonprofits have continued to thrive in even the worst economic environments.

Organizational Structures

There are many different organizational structures that can be utilized and still be a successful social entrepreneur. Depending on what you want to accomplish, how you want to accomplish it, and the operating environment, you can effectively determine which organizational structure works best for you to serve your ends. This article details the different structures to choose from and the advantages/disadvantages associated with each.

Partnerships

Many organizations fall into the trap of trying to do too many things, especially at the same time. They try to be everything to everyone, and in the end, the organization waters down its message and leaves everyone involved unsatisfied. This article shows you how to play your organization to your strengths and develop key partnerships that help your organization pursue its mission effectively.

Public Speaking

In a poll people fear public speaking more than death, which says a lot! While you may be among the majority who fear public speaking, it doesnÛªt have to be this way. While many have speech anxiety, this article includes several tips and tricks to overcoming anxiety and giving a great speech or presentation.

Raising Money

When running a young social enterprise that manifests itself as a business, there may be a time when you need to raise some money to continue your operations. Raising money, especially if you are located in a place like Silicon Valley, is a lot easier than somewhere like South Dakota. There are several key tips to keep in mind, and there are many tricks to the trade, and this article tries to shed light on some of the most important bits of information.

Team Building

Building great teams is hard, but it is the key that distinguishes between mediocre and phenomenal successes. The best teams take time to build, but there are many good ways to develop a solid foundation to jumpstart effective teamwork. In order to build a great team, this article details the process of finding people, developing synergies, and creating an awesome team.

 


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