Ideas are great, but without solid execution, a great idea will always remain just that – an idea. Everyone has ideas but only a few who have the courage, dedication and patience really bring them to life. If you think you have what it takes, the opportunity to play a role in the social entrepreneurship movement is certainly within your reach.
The key to kick-starting your social enterprise dream is to turn inspiration into motivation and motivation into action. Many social entrepreneurs started their ventures as passion projects, but over time have reaped the rewards of running their own business. Finding funding is one of the biggest challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. You can have what you think is the best idea in the world but without the moolah to make it happen, it’ll be close to impossible to even get off the ground.
Your options get thin when your business is focused on maximising social impact rather than profits. The problem is that many traditional investors view social impact as a financial cost and therefore a lousy investment decision. To make things even more difficult, for-profit social enterprises are ineligible for funding from many grant-makers, trusts, and other philanthropic funders, which are limited to funding organisations with charitable status.
Securing funding is an essential part of launching and growing a successful social enterprise, but doing so can be time consuming and can distract you from having the impact you have set out to create. So, if you are going to invest the time in securing funding, you want to ensure your time is well spent and that your application has the best chance of success.
Crowdfunding is one effective way of financing your social enterprise by collecting small amounts of ‘contributions’ from a large number of people. You publicly share your social enterprise idea and people can donate money toward your financial goal if they believe in what you’re doing. Crowdfunding is on the rise and is projected to become a $90-96 billion dollar industry by 2025. To understand how crowdfunding is changing the game, here are some awesome social enterprises that have harnessed the power of crowd via ING Dreamstarter to kick-start their social enterprise dreams.
NORTH | $77k Crowdfunded via Dreamstarter
NORTH is an enterprise that celebrates the rich history of Indigenous art and its preservation of Aboriginal culture. They share this connection through beautifully hand-crafted design pieces featuring the work of Indigenous artists past and present. Involving Indigenous community members every step of the way, ‘The Warlu Collection’ is the next step for NORTH – into high fashion designs. This isn’t your average collection – it runs deep, with 60,000 years of Warlpiri storytelling.
Raise The Bar | $18k Crowdfunded via Dreamstarter
Most Australians start each morning with a latte or a cappuccino, but what happens to your leftover coffee grounds? They hit landfill, with around 75,000 tonnes piling up each year in Australia alone! Raise the Bar is on a mission to repurpose these grounds by producing luxurious coffee body scrub bars free of the nasty microbeads and extensive plastic packaging you’re used to seeing with beauty products, all the whilst keeping your skin silky smooth and soft.
Bravery Co | $50k Crowdfunded via Dreamstarter
Each year, thousands of young adults are diagnosed with cancer and for young women, losing their hair only adds to the trauma. Bravery Co. want to kick cancer’s butt in style, providing cancer warriors and haters alike with delightfully bold head scarves that give back to those affected. For every scarf purchased, 10% goes to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.
Amber Drop Honey | $48k Crowdfunded via Dreamstarter
Small beekeepers and their colonies are the key to healthy ecosystems in the future. That’s why Amber Drop Honey exists. Dreamstarter’s crowdfunding has allowed Amber Drop Honey to establish a portable building on their farm to spread their passion for ethical beekeeping. The establishment will serve as a communal beekeeping hub with a training, extracting and bottling facility. To support local beekeepers and the growth of the bee population, they also give 5% of profits to Save The Bees Australia.
Crema Joe | $6.9k Crowdfunded via Dreamstarter
Every eight days, an Olympic-sized swimming pool of coffee capsules are disposed of in Australia alone. That’s approximately 3 million capsules. Crema Joe make environmentally friendly, reusable capsules that allow you to brew your own choice of freshly ground coffee beans.
Will & Bear | $20k Crowdfunded via Dreamstarter
Will & Bear is an Aussie headwear company, specialising in unisex hats made from 100% Australian wool by expert milliners in Inner Mongolia. For every hat sold, trees.org plant 10 trees in areas affected by deforestation. Will & Bear have already sold enough hats to cover 27 football fields of trees (that’s over 41,000 trees!). Will & Bear is passionate about reducing the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill each year, so they’re in the process of developing hats made from up-cycled waste materials.
Two Good Co | $30k Crowdfunded via Dreamstarter
Two Good help survivors of domestic violence by providing restaurant quality, celebrity-designed meals and salon quality body care packs to the general public and women’s refuges in both Sydney and Melbourne. They operate under the “you buy one, we give one” philosophy, and so far, they have managed to donate over 1.1K care packs. Two Good also employs women from the domestic violence refuges the support to help out in the enterprise, and all of their packaging is 100% recyclable. With the support of Dreamstarter, Two Good Co were able to turn their dream of helping women doing it tough to rebuild their self-worth into a reality.