This article first appeared on Social Change Central.
If you are or you know an social entrepreneur, you know it’s a tough gig. We’ve put together the top six obstacles that social entrepreneurs face today, perhaps some of them resonate with you? Read on to find out how to overcome them.
You have your business idea in place and you’ve done the preliminary work, but you don’t know what to do next to launch.
So you’ve had a great idea. You see a hole in the market that you could fill with your business idea and there is an impact you want to have in the world. You make some phone calls, you build your website and draw up a plan; so what next? You’re ready to launch but you don’t know where to start.
You don’t know where to go for funding or investment, or even how to ask for it.
The gap between social entrepreneurs and capital is wide, even wider if you’re looking to engage with impact investors. How do you make sure your financial modelling is fool proof? And how do you pitch to investors once you’ve got hold of them?
You feel like you need support and validation of your work so far.
You’ve been working hard on your business for a while now, but you don’t have access to experts who can validate your progress. How do you know you’ve got your prioritising right? And is your business even viable in its current state? You really need a sounding board for your thoughts and ideas.
You need a blueprint to scale but don’t know how to put one together.
Your business has been doing well and you want to grow. But which aspect of your business do you scale first? Can you achieve scale?
You feel isolated as a social entrepreneur and as though you lack community.
Being a founder and an entrepreneur can be a lonely profession. Spending hours in your home office making decisions and planning alone without a sounding board is extremely isolating. Many entrepreneurs say they need community, and many co-working spaces were born from this desire. How do you get out of your own bubble?
You want a greater understanding of your customers and why they would choose you over a competitor.
You have a unique business idea, but you’re not free from competitors. So who are your customers? Why are they interested in your business and what it has to offer? Why are they going to choose you?