Social enterprise is not new, but growing connectivity between communities has stimulated interest in social enterprise as a way of delivering both positive social impact and economic growth.
These ventures have a social, environmental, and/or cultural mission that strengthens the company’s financial margin. Social and environmental enterprises are best positioned to understand what local problems are, and the best ways to solve them. They are also financially sustainable, flexible and nimble in their approaches so their impact is long-lasting.
For example, growing ventures like Saffron Coffee in Laos support 780 Hill Tribe families and protect the environment by organizing and marketing their local specialty ‘shade grown’ coffee. Tribes make 2.5x more growing select Arabica coffee and soil regenerates as slash and burn techniques are traded for multi-cropping.
However, there still appears to be an inaccurate perception that many local social enterprises deal in lower quality products or services. This myth needs to be dispelled by occupying premium price positions and developing quality products and services targeted effectively at like-minded consumers. But in the ever growing sea of noise, most local ventures are ill-equipped to get their message out.
Global marketers now have the fun opportunity to connect with and use professional skills to make a difference while also benefiting from meaningful adventures around the world.
According to Professor Bob Doherty of the Social Enterprise Journal, advice for aspiring or practicing social venture marketers boils down to this:
-Get the product and premium price right.
-Articulate the social mission clear to inspire all staff, partners, and investors.
-Create a strong a strong unique selling point.
-Engaged grassroots supporters and campaigners.
-Make great partnerships a priority.
-Help recruit great people.
New online communities are growing to better support this movement. Mine is called Tripstigator.com : Joy through flexible marketing projects around the world. Check it out!