The Harvard Business Review Insight Centre on scaling entrepreneurial solutions that benefit society are running a series about how entrepreneurs and more established organizations are using market forces to create social good.
This article, Deliver Big Impact on a Small Budget, part of the how to use technology and data to scale what works, outlines how two social entrepreneurs utilised cloud-based (online) technology to start up a support network for those with rare diseases for practically nothing. “First, we would use a white label social networking service called Ning to power our sites. Second, we standardized all management coordination on a low-cost but elegantly simple project management software called Basecamp.”
The article starts by saying, “One of the biggest challenges social entrepreneurs face is securing funding to set up their organizations and realize their ideas. Especially in the early days, it can be nearly impossible to pay the rent, give employees a decent salary, and hire the external help you need. But does helping people really need to be so expensive? Or can social entrepreneurs use the same techniques that for profit startup entrepreneurs use, and still make a big impact on a smaller budget?”
The first series, What to do and How to Fund It, includes the article Nonprofits: State the Goal, Set a Deadline, Get it Done, starts with pointing out that, in the continually tightening funding environment, “the nonprofit sector will need to change in dramatic ways.” to meet the demands.
“They need to envision and articulate with measurable specificity what success looks like, persuade others of that vision, and measure and communicate their progress against it.” The article outlines how the No Kid Hungry campaign utilised this approach and then secured business partners,”Traditionally more comfortable with highly specific goals, our corporate sponsors’ response was, ‘If you’re telling us there is a goal line, you know how far you are from it, and what it will take to get across, count us in. That’s what we do and what we look for.'”
The second in the series, The Talent It Takes, focused on the talent needed (the social entrepreneurs).
For more information head over to the website.