I have to share a story, last week, we had a video call with a potential client who had what I felt was a fairly "weak" business idea. Probably more because I did not understand the concept and market very well. But that aside, I sat there through most of the call, trying to be positive, but thinking to myself, "this is going to be a hard sell"
But then, in an instant, it all changed. The client started waxing lyrical about her mission around helping people unlock their creativity and the sense of satisfaction people get when they make something with their own hands. Her enthusiasm was palatable and instantly I moved from this being something with a 50/50 chance of success to this being a brilliant idea, riddled with potential. That simple addition/mind shift from the "product" to the "purpose" CHANGED EVERYTHING about this business idea.
Social Value looks beyond price alone to the collective benefit to a community and the wider world. It includes things such as happiness, well-being, inclusion, equality, employment and environment.
I picked up a big lesson. No matter how odd or simple an idea is, no matter how small the market may appear, if you have a bigger purpose behind your business idea, it will work. It's not about selling a product or service, it's about adding value to people's lives. If you can add value and have a bigger purpose, everything else will follow. That's really what social entrepreneurship is all about, it's about more than sales and profit, it's about the underlying purpose. How are you making someone's life more enriched or helping your community or making our planet a better place to live in? Get that right and the rest will follow.