Making a Difference Through Corporate Social Entrepreneurship

One great way to be a difference maker at your company, is by being the person that gets a corporate social entrepreneurship program initiated. If you don’t know what corporate social entrepreneurship means, here’s my definition, “Corporate social entrepreneurship is when a person within a company, initiates a program that will provide social good, to a significant segment of society, without looking for any monetary compensation in return.” That’s my fancy definition for all you scholars out there, but here’s how I really talk, “Corporate social entrepreneurship is when someone in an office decides to step up and make a difference about an issue they feel passionate about.” In most circumstances, corporate social entrepreneurship initiatives are engaged around environmental, social, or cultural issues, but can really cover any topic of concern. The ultimate goal for a corporate social entrepreneurship initiator, is to bring co-workers together, so that they can increase awareness, and raise additional money, to help create a product, service, or solution, that solves a problem for the greater good of a disadvantaged segment of people.

Just start.
Yes, it sounds like a big task, but you have to start somewhere, so just find out something that you’re passionate about, put together a little plan, and present it to your company. Listen, if you’re just doing it for monetary gain, stop right now, because it’s most likely not going to work. You have to do it for the right reasons, because you feel strongly about it — not because you think you’re going to get rich from doing it. Like I always say, “Do it without expecting anything in return.” I know this may be hard to understand, but I’m telling you, you’ll get the return, whether it be through being honored, or making that ever so important connection with a VP at your company — the opportunity will come, but you need to just put the work in, for the right reasons, for however long it takes.

Give back.
One of the benefits that a company receives when they buy into an employees corporate social entrepreneurship initiative, is that consumers want to buy from brands that reflect sincere efforts on making the world — environmentally, socially, and culturally, a better place. It’s inexcusable for companies to make massive revenues, with massive profits, and not give back. Nothing works better for companies, in terms of gaining consumer trust and building raving social communities, than being a socially responsible company. The days of gimmicks, coupons, and flash sales, are long gone — yes, a company may pick up some quick hits using old gimmicks, but in the long-run, a company that’s not participating in a program of giving back, will definitely end up suffering the consequences.

Enthusiasm gets top talent.
Another benefit that a company receives when they buy into, and participate in, a program of giving back, is that they end up attracting top talent. Top talent is a true difference maker. Companies that attract and employ top talent, position themselves for success, not only in the short term, but for the long term as well. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Great companies, hire great people,” and once a company starts getting some top talent engaged, the work environment becomes enthusiastic and exciting, and productivity starts going through the roof.

Steps to getting started.
If you’re already the corporate social entrepreneurship initiator at your company, great — and if not, here are a few simple tips to help you get started. Remember, it all starts with you taking the first step, so be the courageous one that steps up and makes a decision to make a difference, not only in your own life, but someone else’s as well. Commit to providing value, in tandem with meaningful change, for best results.

  1. Start an open dialogue with people and businesses in your local community to learn how you can all collaborate together to help facilitate common good.
  2. Establish a group of volunteers at your own company that are willing to go the extra mile and help out with common good projects.
  3. Be the difference maker at your company, as well as in your community. Don’t wait for someone else to step up, as it may never happen.
  4.  If you don’t want to start a new common good project, there are tons of meaningful causes already in existence, that you can easily get hooked up with.

Here’s one thing to remember, entrepreneurs are typically spurred by the motivation of money i.e. financial gain, while corporate social entrepreneur initiators are typically driven by altruism i.e. work for the common good, so make sure you’re in it for the right reasons, and that your expectations are in check. Going at it alone is not a good idea, grab some co-worker champions to help get your idea off the ground, and keep it running once it’s launched. Yes, champions may not be paid monetarily, but they’ll be paid with happiness and a sense of fulfillment, which is way better and more everlasting than any amount of money can provide.

Now, it’s up to you to take the next step by becoming the corporate social entrepreneurship initiator at your company. Now that you know better, it’s time for you to go out and do better. Enable disadvantaged segments of our society, by giving them access to education, food, or any other products or services that will help improve their lives — and watch how your heart fills up with happiness like it never has before. Life will take you to where you’re supposed to go, but you need to put the work in and pedal like crazy to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.