Are you a student who is interested in the idea of social business?
If so, this guide is meant for you.
STUDENT GUIDE TO
S...
_1
Becoming involved in social business –
what students can do to make this place
a better world.
What is this Student Guide about and
why should I read it?
Social business has been defined by Nobel Peace Prize
Laureate ...
_3
We live in extraordinary times.
Financial crises and economic crises are looming large in
many parts of the world. Soci...
_4
Sounds great, but as a student, what
can I do?
The following are practical steps that you can take to
become active and...
_5
Be Informed
_6
Be Informed
Social Business
With the idea of social business, Prof. Muhammad
Yunus has introduced a new dimension for c...
_7
Be Informed
_8
Good Stories
_9
Dialogue in the Dark
The Problem
There are more than 160 million visually impaired
people worldwide, with 45 million of...
_10
Grameen Shakti
The Problem
Access to energy is a major problem in almost all
developing countries in the world. Especi...
_11
Readings
_12
During recent years, a lot has happened in terms of publications. There are not only the books by Prof. Yunus, but
als...
_13
Richter, Roger & Spiegel, Peter. The Power of Dignity -
Die Kraft der Würde: The Grameen Family.
Bielefeld: Kamphausen...
_14
Of course, the internet plays the leading role for all the latest news and updates. Here are short overviews about
som...
_15
Danone Communities
http://www.danonecommunities.com/en/node/123
Information on the activities of the Danone
Communitie...
_16
HEC Paris, Social Business Chair
http://www.hec.edu/Social-Business-Chair
Website of the Social Business Chair at the ...
_17
Conferences
_18
Attending conferences is important for various reasons.
First, you will get the latest news and also gain in depth
kno...
_19
At the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship,
each year, social entrepreneurs and key players gather
at the Uni...
_20
Good Stories
_21
Interview with Samuel Ching
Samuel Ching is a 17 year old student at Raffles
Institution, Singapore. Raffles Instituti...
_22
entrepreneurship club, I directed the club with the
theme of exploring social entrepreneurship and social
business in ...
_23
Spread the Idea
_24
Spread the Idea
Every journey starts with the first steps. To start a
social business movement at your university, it ...
_25
Find out your university‘s regulations about student
clubs. How many founding members do you need? Do
you need to writ...
_26
Organize with Joy!
_27
Organize with Joy
Conferences & Workshops
Conferences
To organize a conference you first need an idea and
possible top...
_28
Organize with Joy
Check other Conferences
Their homepages, public documents or participants’
comments give you lots of...
_29
Organize with Joy
Workshops
Just like conferences, workshops can have different
scales. Social business workshops can ...
_30
Read about how to hold a workshop. What structure is
appropriate? What material will be necessary?
Think about scale a...
_31
Idea Competition
An idea competition aims at generating a breadth of
concrete ideas, initiatives and business plans th...
_32
Organize with Joy
The first step is to define the goal of the contest: Do
you want to collect a broad range of ideas o...
_33
Good Stories
_34
Good Stories
One World Convention on Social Business
– perspectives for tomorrow’s world
Can you imagine 50 internatio...
_35
Lobby for Social
Business
_36
Lobby for Social Business
Different from the suggestions made in the “Spread
the idea” section you now are in a good p...
_37
Lobby for Social Business
Spot other Professors familiar with social and
environmental topics and start the social bus...
_38
Do it!
_39
Do it!
Volunteer and Internships
One way to get involved in social business and to
contribute to positive social impac...
_40
Your Own Social Business
One of the most advanced ways to get involved is to
simply start your own social business to ...
_41
Do it!
Have a clearly articulated purpose.
Make sure the business model is sustainable.
Make sure that both what and h...
_42
About The Grameen Creative Lab
_43
What is The Grameen Creative Lab?
The Grameen Creative Lab (GCL) is a social business
GmbH, a joint venture between th...
_44
The Grameen Creative Lab
info@grameencl.com
www.grameencreativelab.com
http://www.facebook.com/#!/GrameenCreativeLab
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Student guide to social business

  1. 1. Are you a student who is interested in the idea of social business? If so, this guide is meant for you. STUDENT GUIDE TO SOCIAL BUSINESS
  2. 2. _1 Becoming involved in social business – what students can do to make this place a better world.
  3. 3. What is this Student Guide about and why should I read it? Social business has been defined by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus as a financially self-sustainable business that fully focuses on solving pressing social problems within healthcare, environment, education, and many other areas. This idea is rapidly growing and spreading all around the world, with more and more social businesses being started by companies, universities, governments and individuals. Are you a student who is interested in the idea of social business? Did you catch fire and now think about how to implement social business within your education? This is a short guideline for students who are not only interested in social business, but want to take action and implement their own initiatives. As a student, you bear the creative potential and courage to make a difference and contribute to solving social problems with entrepreneurial means. This guideline is intended to be a starting point for you to get involved in the field of social business. It supports you with ideas on how to plant first social business seeds in your university setting and in your community. Introduction The following pages guide you through the processes of getting informed about social business, spreading the idea of social business in your university, organizing your first initiative, lobbying for your activities and, in the end, starting your own social business. You can contribute to foster the worldwide social business movement side by side with a broad range of academic, economic and political actors and organizations. We hope this student guide will be a valuable contribution on your way to start an impactful social business initiative. Read it with joy! _2
  4. 4. _3 We live in extraordinary times. Financial crises and economic crises are looming large in many parts of the world. Social problems are prevailing in developing countries, as well as developed countries with the only major distinction being that the type of social problem differs across countries. But we also live in extraordinary and exciting times. The young generation today is the most powerful of any young generation in history. They have the capabilities and the technology to overcome any of the social problems that exist and have not yet been solved. Young people all around the globe are better connected than ever before. The power of technology enables access to information of any type, and also enables communication in even far away, remote places. Moreover, there is a strong and ever-growing desire of young people to change the world for the better. Social business is a wonderful vehicle for the youth to make this change happen. Young people can bring in all their creativity and passion to develop social business ideas that can really make an impact in people’s lives. Many young people have already started their own social business initiatives and have come up with beautiful and creative solutions that we have never thought about before. You too can become a part of this change and make your contribution towards a better planet. Muhammad Yunus Foreword
  5. 5. _4 Sounds great, but as a student, what can I do? The following are practical steps that you can take to become active and engage with social business in your university context. …about social business. Read, watch, listen. Join workshops, conferences and online communities. Engage with professors and students in discussions about your ideas. Create a social business students club. Start the conversation. Design a workshop or conference yourself. Ask social business professionals to speak at students events. Start a social business idea competition. Go talk to your professors and faculty and lobby them to teach about social business. One of the best ways to get involved is to actually start your own social business to tackle a social problem! Do it with joy. Be Informed Spread the Idea Organize with Joy Lobby for Social Business Do it!
  6. 6. _5 Be Informed
  7. 7. _6 Be Informed Social Business With the idea of social business, Prof. Muhammad Yunus has introduced a new dimension for capitalism: a business model that does not strive to maximize profits but rather to serve humanity’s most pressing needs. Thus, the first motive of a social business is not profit, and second, it does not pay its investors dividends. Instead, it aims at solving social problems with products and services at affordable prices, or giving the poor and marginalized people ownership in a business allowing them to share in its profits. A social business pays back only its original investment and reinvests its profits in innovations or further growth that advance its social goals. Although the social business is pioneering in its aims, it is traditional in its management. Its workforce is professional and paid according to market wages. This type of business may or may not earn profit, but like any other business it must not incur losses in order to be able to sustain itself. In every sense the social business is sustainable: in its direct environmental impact, its impact down the value chain, and critically, in its financial independence. This is a key difference between social business and charity. Once its initial investment is repaid, the social business aims to be financially self-sustaining, giving it the independence and security to focus its efforts on the long-term improvement of the lives of the disadvantaged. Thus a social business is a new type of company and “social business entrepreneurs” are a new type of entrepreneurs who are not interested in profit- maximisation. They are totally committed to making a difference in the world. They want to give a better chance in life to other people and they want to achieve this objective through creating and supporting sustainable social businesses. Social business follows 7 principles, which serve as its defining elements. The seven principles of social business: 1. Business objective will be to overcome poverty, or one or more problems (such as education, health, technology access and environment) which threaten people and society; not profit maximization. 2. Financial and economic sustainability. 3. Investors get back their investment amount only. No dividend is given beyond investment money. 4. When investment amount is paid back, company profit stays with the company for expansion and improvement. 5. Environmentally conscious. 6. Workforce gets market wage with better working conditions. 7. …do it with joy.
  8. 8. _7 Be Informed
  9. 9. _8 Good Stories
  10. 10. _9 Dialogue in the Dark The Problem There are more than 160 million visually impaired people worldwide, with 45 million of them being blind. Most of the world‘s visually impaired live in developing countries. A blind person has significant challenges finding employment; even in developed countries like Germany, only about 15% of the blind have a job. Moreover, the common prejudice that blind people cannot participate in the working world is one of the reasons for their lack of integration and acceptance in society. In addition, interaction between “abled” and “disabled” people is hindered by stereotypes, fears, avoidance, prejudice, discrimination and marginalization. The Story The German social entrepreneur Andreas Heinecke developed the idea that blind people guide sighted visitors through an exhibition in complete darkness. Walking through the dark, people get a sense of the everyday world without sight and switch roles with the blind as they require their assistance and perceive the obstacles they often face. Starting with one exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, “Dialogue in the Dark” has become a social franchise active in many different countries and attended by more than 75,000 visitors per year. Andreas Heinecke also broadened the concept and founded a restaurant in which customers eat and drink in the dark and explore how their sense of taste changes when the light is switched off. With the recently initiated exhibition “Dialogue in Silence” the founder Good Stories started to employ deaf people to guide visitors through a completely quiet world. Dialogue in the Dark aims at the social inclusion of marginalized people and to establish employment for disabled people on a global scale. It raises awareness shifts perspectives to overcome barriers between the “abled” and “disabled”. The Business Model Dialogue in the Dark has established 21 permanent exhibitions all around the world and in addition also sets up temporary exhibitions at many different locations. The exhibitions have been in more than 30 countries and over 160 sites throughout Europe, Asia and America since its beginning in 1988. Dialogue in the Dark obtains its main revenues from the international franchise model, the permanent exhibitions and the leadership trainings worldwide, followed by entrance fees and gastronomic revenues. All profits are reinvested, which is one of the basic preconditions for a social business.
  11. 11. _10 Grameen Shakti The Problem Access to energy is a major problem in almost all developing countries in the world. Especially rural areas are faced with a lack of an electrical grid infrastructure, since in many cases it is not cost-effective to provide grid connectivity to remote rural areas. Looking specifically at Bangladesh, around 80% of its population of around 160 Million people live in rural areas. Moreover, only around 40% of the total population have access to grid electricity, while all others have to rely on kerosene, diesel or wood for lighting and cooking. The use of kerosene is a major health concern when used for cooking in small huts. Moreover, the lack of access to energy is a severe economic constraint, as it limits the production time and the productivity of small businesses and also limits the time for kids to study after sunset. The Story Grameen Shakti (which means “village energy” in Bengali) was established in 1996 in order to provide sustainable energy to the villages of Bangladesh. The aim was to find an energy source that would solve the problems of poor people in rural areas without causing additional harm. Grameen Shakti started its operations selling Solar Home Systems (SHS). The mission of Grameen Shakti is to “empower the rural people with access to green energy and income” and its vision is “a future where rural households of Bangladesh have access to environment friendly and pollution free energy at affordable cost.” Good Stories The Business Model Grameen Shakti was originally set-up as a not-for-profit organization, but it has been transformed into a social business, which became financial sustainable within the first 4 years of operations. By 2012 they had sold almost 1 Million Solar Home Systems in Bangladesh, and also expanded their product line to biogas plants, improved cooking stoves and organic fertilizer, which is a byproduct of the gas produced in the biogas plants. Selling rather expensive products to mainly poor customers, Grameen Shakti had to rely on an innovative distribution and an after sales care system as well as microfinance to create demand for their products. They have set up local Grameen Technology Centers (GTCs) in order to train people on how to market and produce SHS and accessories. The program is particularly focused on training women thus allowing them to develop their skills as technicians. Given the relatively high costs of the Solar Home Systems, Grameen Shakti developed an innovative financing scheme based on microfinance. Through this financing scheme, customers are able to pay in smaller installments over a period of 2 or 3 years. As of 2012, Grameen Shakti employs more than 10,000 people and serves more than 40,000 villages in Bangladesh.
  12. 12. _11 Readings
  13. 13. _12 During recent years, a lot has happened in terms of publications. There are not only the books by Prof. Yunus, but also other books, case studies and articles about the social business idea and various social businesses. Here you will find a brief overview about selected readings: Readings Yunus, Muhammad. Creating a World without Poverty – Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. New York: Public Affairs, 2007. In 2007, Yunus for the first time formulated his vision in “Creating a World without Poverty” and pioneered and defined the idea of social business. In this book, Yunus gives an account of social business and describes how his ideas moved from microcredit to the first social business designs, such as Grameen Bank and Grameen Danone. Yunus writes about the development and implementation of these social business ideas and about the lessons learnt from his experiences. The “Times” concludes: “Not only does it read as swiftly as a thriller, it turns the dreary science of development economics inside out.” Yunus, Muhammad. Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanities Most Pressing Needs. New York: Public Affairs, 2010. In his second book on social business, “Building social business models”, Muhammad Yunus looks more deeply into the concept of social business and offers a practical guidance for creators of social businesses. Important issues such as the formulation of seven principles for the creation of social business or legal and financial frameworks are presented and discussed in Yunus’ most recent book. Yunus, Muhammad. Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty. New York: Public Affairs, 2003. “Banker to the Poor” is the unique founding story of the Grameen Bank’s microcredit system that is based on Muhammad Yunus’ idea to extend credit to the poor so that they can help themselves. In clear and conversational tone, Yunus tells this story from his personal perspective and gives insight into the concept, premises, and challenges of the Grameen bank. In 2006, Grameen and Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to create economic and social development from within the lowest socio-economic groups.
  14. 14. _13 Richter, Roger & Spiegel, Peter. The Power of Dignity - Die Kraft der Würde: The Grameen Family. Bielefeld: Kamphausen, 2008. “The Power of Dignity“ is a book of Peter Spiegel (essays) and Roger Richter (photos) that aims to change our view of the poor. It contains photographs of and essays about people in rural, poor areas of Bangladesh. The persons appearing in these photos belong to the Grameen family, the employees and owners of Grameen organisations as well as microcredit borrowers and founders of small, independent businesses. “The Power of Dignity” takes a new perspective by encountering people with an aesthetic of dignity instead of presenting people seeking help. Humberg, Kerstin. Poverty Reduction through Social Business? Lessons learnt from Grameen Joint Ventures in Bangladesh. Oekom, 2012. This book of Kerstin Humberg links Yunus’ idea of social business to various scientific and development policy contexts and analyses it against these backgrounds. Thereby, Humberg differentiates the approach from both nonprofit organizations and profit-maximizing companies. The second part of the book presents two case studies, i.e. Grameen Danone and Grameen Veolia, and analyses and compares them. “Poverty Reduction through Social Business?” is the first comprehensive empirical study of Yunus’ social businesses in Bangladesh. Wimmer, Nancy. Green Energy for a Billion Poor– How Grameen Shakti Created a Winning Model for Social Business. MCRE Verlag, 2012. This book of Nancy Wimmer, who is an entrepreneur, researcher and advisor to the World Council of Renewable Energy, examines the case of Grameen Shakti. This social business was established in 1996 to promote and develop renewable energy technologies in remote, rural areas of Bangladesh. Wimmer tells the success story of Grameen Shakti and gives insights into the inner mechanics, strategies and values of the company. Readings This is of course only a small overview of available books. There are more and more books, case studies, working papers and articles available. We have compiled a bibliography, which will be updated on a regular basis. You can download the bibliography online at http://www.grameencreativelab.com/academia.html within the Resources section.
  15. 15. _14 Of course, the internet plays the leading role for all the latest news and updates. Here are short overviews about some very interesting websites: Websites Kyushu University http://sbrc.kyushu-u.ac.jp/english/ Information about the Yunus & Shiiki Social Business Research Centre at the Kyushu University in Kyushu, Fukuoka, Japan. CSUCI http://socialbusiness.csuci.edu/ The website of the California Institute for Social Business at the California State University Channel Islands. Grameen Shakti http://www.gshakti.org/ Information about Grameen Shakti, a renewable energy company in Bangladesh, which sells solar panels, biogas plants and improved cooking stoves in rural areas. Mammu http://www.mammu.lv/ Mammu is a social business based in Latvia whose goal is to create jobs for single mothers. It’s a fashion brand producing in Latvia and selling world wide. The Grameen Creative Lab www.grameencreativelab.com www.facebook.com/GrameenCreativeLab Get information on social business, social businesses, our activities and latest news from our website and social media channels. Yunus Centre www.muhammadyunus.org The Yunus Centre is Prof. Yunus’ leading institution promoting the idea of social business. Grameen Veolia http://www.grameenveoliawaterltd.com/ Learn how Grameen Veolia Water is working on ways to bring safe drinking water to Bangladesh.
  16. 16. _15 Danone Communities http://www.danonecommunities.com/en/node/123 Information on the activities of the Danone Communities fund. Among other things you can find detailed information about Grameen Danone on this website. Dialogue in the Dark www.dialogue-in-the-dark.com Background information on the concept of Dialogue in the Dark, exhibitions, workshops and the exhibition venue closest to you. GCL@NUS www.nusentrepreneurshipcentre.sg/initiatives/ initiatives_article/gclnus Website of the joint initiative between GCL and the National University of Singapore. Bive www.bive.co Bive is a social business in Colombia that provides access to a variety of high quality health services and easy access to clean and adequate infrastructure at an affordable price. Grameen Uniqlo www.grameenuniqlo.com A joint venture between Grameen Healthcare Trust and Uniqlo which is producing clothing in Bangladesh and selling it at affordable prices for the poor. Make Sense http://we.makesense.org/ An online project, challenging people for social business and bringing together social business entrepreneurs with individuals ready to take up their challenge. Grameen Caldas http://grameencaldas.com/ This holistic social business movement in Caldas, Colombia, aims to eradicate poverty and to rebuild the economy by helping to establish various social businesses. Websites
  17. 17. _16 HEC Paris, Social Business Chair http://www.hec.edu/Social-Business-Chair Website of the Social Business Chair at the HEC Paris with information about their activities in research, teaching and practice. Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health http://www.gcu.ac.uk/yunuscentre/ Based at the Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, the Centre aims to change the lives of the poor through research in social business and health. Yunus Social Business http://www.yunussb.com/ Yunus Social Business started as a spin off from The Grameen Creative Lab in 2011 and focuses on social business funds and advisory services. EU Social Business Initiative http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/social_business/ index_en.htm#maincontentSec2 Information on the activities of the European Commission in the field of social business and their Social Business Initiative. Grameen Bank http://www.grameen-info.org/ Website of Grameen Bank with detailed information and history on microcredit as well as data & reports and information regarding microcredit training. EBS University, Social Business Chair http://www.ebs.edu/11412.html?&L=0 Website of the Danone Endowed Chair of Social Business at the EBS University in Germany. Websites
  18. 18. _17 Conferences
  19. 19. _18 Attending conferences is important for various reasons. First, you will get the latest news and also gain in depth knowledge through expert presentations and workshops. Additionally, conferences are a great place to connect with other like-minded people, to share ideas and to connect for joint initiatives. Over the past years a number of events related to social business have taken place around the world. There are several conferences and events about or related to social business, that are held on a regular basis. Some of them are described below. The Global Social Business Summit is the world’s largest international conference exclusively on social business. It brings together entrepreneurs and experts from the corporate, political, academic sectors to connect and network. Also it provides a prominent platform for social businesses to present their initiatives to an international audience. Workshops during the summit offer the opportunity to gain insights into new concepts and develop solutions for a multitude of challenges. Throughout the year, there are also several Social Business Forums taking place around the world. These national or regional forums like the German Social Business Forum or the Social Business Forum Asia also provide a platform for entrepreneurs and experts to network and exchange ideas. With idea contests and Social Business Boot Camps, which provide technical support to young entrepreneurs, these forums offer the opportunity to get a deeper insight into social business and additionally help to establish social businesses with a more regional focus. Another example is the International GCL Klassentreffen. This event format brings together the Grameen Family and entrepreneurs that are involved in social business for a weekend at a local school to reconnect and exchange ideas and experiences. At the same time newcomers get the opportunity to learn about social business and get first hand insight into existing social businesses from experts. The above events are all organized by the GCL or the Grameen Family and focus exclusively on social business. However, there are several other conferences on the broader concept of social entrepreneurship that also include social business into their program and also offer excellent opportunities to gain insights and connect to the community. Conferences
  20. 20. _19 At the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, each year, social entrepreneurs and key players gather at the University of Oxford to exchange ideas and knowledge and create new collaborations. Several workshop formats are offered to pick up skills or update your knowledge and connect with some of the most renowned social entrepreneurs and experts in field. The Vision Summit, organized by the Genisis Institute, was established in 2008 as a leading conference on social entrepreneurship and social impact business. It offers a variety of workshops, discussions and presentations on issues related to social entrepreneurship, ranging from social arts and impact measurement to design thinking for social entrepreneurship. An example of an event organized by students is the One World Convention on Social Business. The convention was organized by students from University Passau, Germany, and featured an introduction to social business as well as panel discussions and presentations about the opportunities of social business, impact measurement and the future of social Conferences business. You will find a report about their experience further back in this report. Also, there are many one-of events and specific workshop formats such as Social Business Labs, which bring together different stakeholders from businesses, NGO’s, academia and civil society to jointly develop concrete social business ideas. More in depth insights into social business are offered during a Social Business Week, which combines various workshop formats and public speeches to give participants the best overview possible. Some examples are the Social Business Week Bahrain 2012, which started with a speech by Professor Yunus and also included a strategy session to develop a roadmap for social business in Bahrain, and the Social Business Week Singapore 2012 organized by the National University of Singapore. The events mentioned above take place irregularly and are promoted through the known channels. The above list of conferences is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to provide an overview.
  21. 21. _20 Good Stories
  22. 22. _21 Interview with Samuel Ching Samuel Ching is a 17 year old student at Raffles Institution, Singapore. Raffles Institution, founded in 1823, is the oldest and one of the most prestigious centers for pre-tertiary training in Singapore. He is studying in the Humanities Program and took the GCE-A Levels in 2012. He is passionate about the nexus of business and poverty alleviation, leading him to the field of social business and social innovation. Q: How did you come across social business and how did you become knowledgeable about the topic? I came across the concept of social business through the very first Grameen Creative Lab Social Business Lab organised by GCL@NUS. It was there where I first met Hans Reitz and the team from GCL. I still remember with great fondness the stories that Hans told the audience during the launch – they were both inspirational and moving. This set the tone for the workshop over the next 2 days, which was peppered with both inspiring stories of Grameen’s customers as well as with the practical aspects of how to execute a social business. It was a thorough immersion into the ins and outs of social business and I came away awed and felt the need to spread this revolutionary way of doing business. To me, the idea of using the business mechanisms to solve social issues was game-changing and could have limitless potential in the business of ‘making poverty history’. As such, I decided to dive deeper and see how much more I could find out about social business, leading me to participate in the inaugural Social Business Forum Asia, held in the aftermath of the Fukushima Earthquake. There, the brainstorming and the interaction with established social businesses, grounded my desire to start a social business initiative. Q: Tell us a bit about your social business project. What is it about? My personal social business initiative comes in a few different forms. Firstly, I set up a youth network of high school students to explore and to promote social business amongst high school youths in Singapore. The network was set up with the aim of getting more youths to understand and appreciate the concept of social business/social entrepreneurship. We felt that if we could get the youths interested in social business while they were in high school – they could then make full use of the resources provided in university to further their interest. Secondly, as the president of my school’s Good Stories “To me, the idea of using the business mechanism to solve social issues was game- changing and could have limitless potential in the business of ‘making poverty history’.”
  23. 23. _22 entrepreneurship club, I directed the club with the theme of exploring social entrepreneurship and social business in mind – resulting in our club developing many little social business projects, including using Valentine’s Day to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. Lastly, I started a personal blog to document my experiences in this space (thedollarmultiplier.co.cc), as well as to provide a platform to encourage anyone else keen to find out more about social business. Q: What motivated you to start your social business initiative/project? The three different projects were motivated by a core interest to raise the awareness about social business amongst high school students both in Singapore and around the world. I felt that the fastest way to gain maximum interest would be to engage youths online, as well as to set up local on-the-ground programs to allow youths to interact with local social businesses. Q: How exactly did you get started? Did you have any partners? Who else joined the movement? It started off with a group of friends that wanted to do this – it was very informal and casual, and our common interest was what motivated us to do this. It all started when I started talking to a friend about my experiences in Fukuoka – he was keen to find out more and curious as to why he had not heard about this before. After telling more friends about this, I found that these friends had the common want to find out more about social business and social entrepreneurship, and it was through this that the network was formed. Q: How did you convince and motivate others? And how did university faculty and staff react on your actions? Surprisingly, convincing others was not as difficult as expected. In Singapore, we found that most youths were already keen on helping on the underprivileged. This was just another way of doing so. The harder part was thinking of ways to explain the model to them – to demonstrate that it is in fact a more effective and sustainable form of service. The National University of Singapore (NUS) was very supportive of the initiative and they provided support in terms of tie-ups with both the youth network as well as bringing Prof. Yunus in to Raffels Institute under the banner of the Raffles Entrepreneurs’ Network. Prof. Wong from NUS was also very supportive, he kindly volunteered to bring me over to Fukuoka for the Social Business Forum Asia. Q: Did you face any kind of obstacles? What were the biggest challenges so far? The journey has been a very exciting one – we had our first national symposium for youths on social business in 2011 and we had Professor Yunus over in March earlier this year. The response was phenomenal from the students and youths who we invited from across Singapore. There haven’t been any major challenges, but the work going into preparing for these symposiums has been substantial. Q: Do you plan any further social business activities in the near future? The upcoming year is set to be even more exciting as we are exploring possibilities of how best to expand the scope to involve even more students from around the region and beyond. We are looking into the possibility of expanding our online presence to engage youths beyond Singapore. Good Stories “It started off with a group of friends that wanted to do this – it was very informal and casual, and our common interest was what motivated us to do this.”
  24. 24. _23 Spread the Idea
  25. 25. _24 Spread the Idea Every journey starts with the first steps. To start a social business movement at your university, it is important to make the concept known among students as well as professors. Spreading the word about social business helps you to find other interested people or organizations and might generate some new ideas or opportunities for collaborations. Start the conversation about social business with other like-minded students in your community. Set up regular open meetings inviting everyone who is interested and exchange ideas on how to bring social business to your university. Post your meetings on social media, bulletin boards, etc. to draw attention to your activities. Also, you could run promotional activities through social media channels in order to make people aware of the idea. Create a page for social business on the common social media channels and post news, activities and outcomes of meetings with like-minded students. Sharing the latest social business news with your friends through these social media channels is also a good idea. To get some first hand experience, more attention, and credibility, you may ask social business professionals to speak at students events or at other events planned at your university. The event should have at least some distant relation to the field to increase the chance of reaching participants that are interested in the concept. Another way of introducing social business to your university could be to write your bachelor or master thesis about social business. Last but not least, every university has them: clubs, societies or groups in which students engage themselves in discussions about their ideas. So why not found a social business students club? The list below gives you an idea of how you could realize a student club.
  26. 26. _25 Find out your university‘s regulations about student clubs. How many founding members do you need? Do you need to write a founding document or constitution? Does the university provide any financial support? Write a one page summary about what the club stands for and what sort of activities it will pursue. You could even try to formulate a mission statement! Research other clubs whose members might have overlapping interests, make a list of classes that are relevant and identify faculty members that could be interested in getting involved. These are your recruitment targets! Contact these people via mailing lists, go into lecture rooms and write on the blackboard, maybe even speak in front of a class. Visit faculty in their office hours and talk to them about your club. A facebook group or page could be a great idea. Have an inaugural meeting inviting everybody that responded positively, use communication channels mentioned above to promote it. Have the assembled members adopt a (pre-written) constitution, outline leadership structure and fill the positions. Give all candidates 1 minute to introduce themselves, then hold a vote for each position. Organize future meetings, talks, fundraising, and other events according to your mission. Network with similar clubs at other Universities. Spread the Idea Social Business Student Club Checklist
  27. 27. _26 Organize with Joy!
  28. 28. _27 Organize with Joy Conferences & Workshops Conferences To organize a conference you first need an idea and possible topics. Social business is a central topic for a range of events (see overview in the conferences chapter), so you should focus on a concrete outline of your conference. Otherwise it may become difficult to get speakers, sponsors, or the necessary participants as there are too many similar events. Bear in mind that you have strong competitors and you have to figure out how to differentiate your event. You need a guiding idea, central theme, or “golden thread” running through the diverse slots of your event. It could be that your target group is a special one: a location in a country where no social business event has taken place before, a conference specifically for students, a specialized scientific conference, or a practitioners event. Your event could be focused either on a special field like healthcare, ageing, integration, nutrition or on a special agenda like social business joint ventures, social business start ups, social business in developing countries, etc. Or maybe the format and design of the conference makes it unique. For example, the event could be a huge online gathering or be connected to important political events. You have to ask yourself: How different is my event from others and why should people invest time and resources to join it? Now that you have an idea you need a team with a strong desire to organize the conference. This can be crucial, especially in the last weeks before the event when you will all be very busy with the recruiting of the last participants, preparing the location, organizing details, answering questions of speakers and participants etc.. You should look for team members with diverse skills to delegate tasks in a sensible way, acknowledging the strengths of each one of them. A very eloquent and convincing person is perfect for being in charge of inspiring prominent speakers and attracting sponsors. Another person with good organizational talent should support you in conceptualizing and guiding the overall process. In a later stage of organization you should also think of persons who will be in charge of technical support and logistics.
  29. 29. _28 Organize with Joy Check other Conferences Their homepages, public documents or participants’ comments give you lots of pointers on almost every aspect of the conference: how should an application form look like, how should the web page be conceptualized and designed and what information to put on it, the structure of the program, the timing, potential speakers and so on. Brainstorm with your team which ideas you want to pick up or adapt. Write all the ideas down and discuss them. That doesn’t mean copying the design of other conferences, these are just examples that improve your brainstorming process. Try to be creative – what would you like to see, hear and do at a conference on a topic you are interested in? Finally, come up with a proposal or guideline that clearly presents the results of your brainstorming. Prepare a presentation about the conference idea for your university leaders. Try to answer every question faculty members may ask: How are you going to finance the event? Whom are you going to invite? Why is the conference attractive and how can it contribute to positive social change? Which rooms and halls do you need and when? How much can the regular schedule be affected? Be self-confident and well prepared. Don’t forget to ask which equipment the university may support you with, if you may use the cafeteria for lunches and dinners, and whether the dean would like to hold a welcome speech. As soon as you have the university’s support, check the available resources, such as know-how of people who already organized a conference at your university and determine the responsibilities. You will need a head of conference (you?) as well as people to be in charge of finances, the program, accommodations, logistics, technical support, a webmaster, and a head of communications and marketing. Depending on the size of the conference, there will be one or more people for each resort or in case of smaller events one person may be responsible for two or three of these tasks. Also think of who will second you if you are absent or ill. Now, by the latest, you should know concretely when and where the conference will take place. You should also specify the features and subthemes of the conference before you ask speakers and lecturers to participate. Which types of sessions will the conference offer: Speeches? Workshops? Panel discussions? Slots for informal meetings? How many speakers do you need and how do you ensure the quality of the sessions? Watch videos of potential speakers to see if they are not only knowledgeable but also good speakers and entertaining. In the following months, your team should complete some of the following tasks, some of which will run in parallel: 1) draw up the budget, calculate the participants fee and gather the funds, 2) create the webpage and the application form, 3) invite speakers and participants, 4) find potential accommodations for participants to stay and make agreements with hotels to offer affordable rooms, 5) organize how participants will get to the airport/train station and back, 6) obtain offers for video/audio equipment, if needed, 7) promote the event in different media, inform journalists etc.. If the event is of large scale, create a project plan to avoid missing any important steps. Organize regular meetings where the team members update each other and coordinate their activities. First invitations or a save-the-date note should be sent out 4-5 months before the event, followed by two or three reminders. The timetable and program should be set as early as possible and distributed so that participants exactly know exactly what to expect. You should send a package which also includes travel and accommodation information, background information about the speakers, short description of the sessions and other relevant details.
  30. 30. _29 Organize with Joy Workshops Just like conferences, workshops can have different scales. Social business workshops can be part of a lecture series, an integral element of a conference or single events. They can be organized by students and faculty members or by other institutions or persons. The university could provide the physical place and support for such a workshop. This decision depends on whether the university already has the expertise or prefers to rely on external specialists. In any case, workshops always need active involvement of participants and your job is to ensure and moderate the communication between participants. You should organize workshops if you or the potential participants endeavor a practical outcome. Workshops can be an ideal platform to develop concrete social business ideas and action steps. Depending on the size of the workshop (or series), the steps listed in the checklist should guide your preparation. No matter if you opt for a conference or a workshop: document the results and publish them. Assessments of the quality of your event should be obtained using surveys. Think of whether the event will be repeated next year and send a save-the-Date note to the participants. You should also list mistakes and problems that have happened and organize a feedback meeting to question why they happened and eventually change the procedures for next year’s event.
  31. 31. _30 Read about how to hold a workshop. What structure is appropriate? What material will be necessary? Think about scale and scope of the workshop. What is your audience? Will you be able to conduct it by yourself or do you need support? What is the topic and how can concrete results be generated? If you would like to bring in some external support talk to whoever is in charge of student affairs and the student body leadership. They may be able to provide financial or logistical support. Nail the content down early, invitees will want to know about the program of the workshop especially if you are planning on asking them to pay a participation fee! Invitation management and promotion: Keep track of who registers and how many spaces are left. Start with the core group of people you think will be valuable to have at the workshop and work your way out to more contacts until you fill the workshop. Use social media, flyers, mailings and personal contacts to promote the workshop. Again, going into relevant lectures and seminars can be very effective. Target dining facilities, coffee shops and libraries. At the workshop make sure to collect everyone’s contact information for future events. Create a document summarizing the main outcomes and member commitments (if applicable) and send it to all participants. Organize with Joy Conferences / Workshop Checklist
  32. 32. _31 Idea Competition An idea competition aims at generating a breadth of concrete ideas, initiatives and business plans that are the first step to establish a social business. First you need a concept and a sponsor behind it. What kind of idea do you want to support? A student initiative, a startup, or a re-design or new branch of an existent social business? Do you have a university-wide, regional, national or international scope? Elaborate a concept in a convincing way and present it to your university leaders. As soon as you have them on your side, look out for sponsors. It may be a company or a government institution that supports your competition. A university leaders’ engagement is a crucial point here – he or she could be the one having the important talks to potential sponsors. You will prepare these talks and provide the necessary information. A successful idea competition also requires a student body that is well educated on the subject. You should have a clear idea of what makes up a good project idea or business plan. What are important aspects to look for? Make sure you have gotten the word out before you initiate a competition, otherwise you might not get many quality submissions! Develop evaluation criteria and eventually differentiate between first round and second round criteria. Acquire committee members and involve them in your criteria design to end up with a common sense about priorities in selection. Think of how the evaluation will take place. Will committee members name their first, second and third choice or will they award points for each evaluation category? How do you measure the quality of an idea? Talk to your sponsor about the competition, will he sponsor the prize only or the entire event? In the latter case, watch out for other sponsors. As soon as you have the first one, it often becomes easier to inspire a second and third one. Concretize the prize. Great prizes are start-up funding and services like consulting. Will there also be a second and third prize? Now you should start to assure that a sufficient number of applications will reach you. Set the deadline. Will there be a public event or ceremony announcing the winner? If so, you should start the planning of the announcement early (see section on organizing a conference). Announce the competition and the final event in the relevant networks. Try to reach informal networks as well, ask people to spread the information that a social business idea competition will take place. Think of a nice slogan and logo; promote the event to your target group through different media: the university’s webpage, facebook, twitter, forums, blogs. The more people know about the competition the higher the chance that you will receive excellent submissions. Think about whether you want the submissions to be anonymous for the judges to avoid that gender, racial, social or other criteria are applied that discriminate against some of the applicants. Gather the submissions and eventually pre-screen them according to formal criteria to filter out the worst submissions. Then distribute the remaining concepts to the committee members. Inform the judges about potential ethical guidelines, e.g. that a conversation about submissions between them is prohibited. Determine a deadline for the decision and organize the decision process - will it be a discussion between the judges or will the winner be evaluated based on the measures given? Finalize the preparation of the announcement event including a speech, participants management, the preparation of the location, logistics etc. After the event, write a summary or report, probably introducing the entrepreneur who won the prize and his project. You should also consider how you ensure the proper use of the money, depending on the sum you should ask the winner for a detailed report or even sign a contract with him or her. Organize with Joy
  33. 33. _32 Organize with Joy The first step is to define the goal of the contest: Do you want to collect a broad range of ideas or specific business plans? Is there a focus on a certain issue area or social problem? Will there be a physical event or price giving ceremony or will it be online? Next, design the competition process. Who will be invited to participate? Will it be regionally limited, will you need to hold a number of rounds (i.e. Semi-finals)? Who makes the decisions, a jury or a community? Now, it is time to approach possible jury members and sponsors. Make sure all external communication is very professional and be realistic about who you contact and what you expect them to contribute. Establish a web presence. This should happen as you are reaching out to sponsors. Having an established web presence will increase the likelihood of their involvement. Start promoting the competition. Be very specific about what you expect the proposals to address and what they should include. Maybe ask for executive summaries first, then request more detailed proposals for the later stages. Go through your pre-designed process of selecting and awarding proposals, stay in constant communication with all stakeholders and make sure to have fun while your at it! Idea Competition Checklist
  34. 34. _33 Good Stories
  35. 35. _34 Good Stories One World Convention on Social Business – perspectives for tomorrow’s world Can you imagine 50 international students in a little south Bavarian town learning about social business? I couldn’t, until the end of 2009, when Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus came to our little university town Passau to give a talk about social business and microfinance. I was totally struck by the concept and I couldn’t stop thinking of it anymore. Why is social business not known among students, why did I learn about it just then? To change all this I decided to organize a conference to make social business more popular among students all over Europe. Since I am a member of the European student organization AEGEE, I have access to a great network, with a huge group of young people eager to learn and experience. I believe that this is the perfect audience, because it is young people like us shaping the future in which social business should definitely be a part of. I found a wonderful team of 20 people who worked with a lot of passion for one year to finally implement our conference: “One World Convention on Social Business- perspectives for tomorrow’s world”. We had a very interactive approach in order to make the participants learn not only by listening to expert talks (e.g. “The Social Business Movement, Grameen Creative Lab“) but also getting active in workshops like “How to realize and run a Social Business?” by Angela Lawaldt from Bonventure. On a Best Practice Fair all university students could inform themselves about different social business and microfinance ideas like the GLS Bank, Bonergie, Oikocredit, Social Business City or Baola. We also formed project groups for the participants who could think about their own social business ideas, which were presented at the end of the convention. Throughout the conference there was a spirit of great motivation and commitment and I think we could meet our objective to make social business more known on an international level. I know from several participants that they became active in the social business field, doing research for papers on microfinance, working on their own social business idea or taking part at the Vision Summit in Potsdam. Until the implementation we had to work ourselves into the mind and matter of social business and did a lot of research in the internet and reading texts by Muhammad Yunus. Actually we learned while planning. This was a great motivation to always move one, because we often struggled to find good funding and partners: The obstacle was that social business wasn’t known well enough to support it without doubts. Luckily we were able to convince our university, other university groups and local sponsors and even took a funding from the EU’s “Youth in Action Program”. In the end everybody saw that social business matters and should be promoted. During this year my team and I learned so much about social business but of course you should always go on. Now, with my bachelor degree coming to an end I plan to get active in the field of sustainable lifestyles, the post growth society and also social business. I am still hooked and I hope that the “One World Convention on Social Business” had the same effect on all the participants. Even though the conference is already over our webpage is still active as a learning platform. Feel free to download our reader and other information- because sharing is caring: www.oneworldconvention.net Author: Friederike Korte, Project Manager, One World Convention on Social Business
  36. 36. _35 Lobby for Social Business
  37. 37. _36 Lobby for Social Business Different from the suggestions made in the “Spread the idea” section you now are in a good position to influence your university’s politics regarding social business in a positive way. Having organized a conference, a workshop and/or an idea competition, you have a network, and maybe valuable contacts to the industry, within the university or to other universities, and public authorities. This community strengthens your credibility and will support your future actions. Now you have diverse opportunities to bring social business to the next level. You can support your university in gaining reputation in the field. That can happen through an important regular event, such as an annual large-scale social business conference, through establishing a curriculum incorporating social business or developing a social business master or MBA. Social business should not be missing from any university’s teaching portfolio, so if it is not yet taught at your university go talk to the relevant Management, Economics, Public Policy (or from another related field) Professor and lobby them to teach about social business. You can represent the students’ voice and actively bring in their priorities to provoke change in your university’s agenda. You can always argue that there is an ethical, ecological and social demand for social business becoming a part of academic teaching. Apart from that, students want to learn about social business. More and more social business university activities are shaping up globally and the students’ interest and engagement is an important part of this movement. Other arguments you can put forward are that social business is a growing business sector whose relevance for all businesses will increase significantly in the near future. And educating social business is a great way to teach about entrepreneurship and business challenges in a new and innovative framework and to bring in a different mindset.
  38. 38. _37 Lobby for Social Business Spot other Professors familiar with social and environmental topics and start the social business conversation with them. Spot leaders who like innovation and new topics and expand your network to your university’s decision making bodies. Ask for your university’s support to organize student field trips to social business projects or to join national and international conferences. You may also ask one of your professors to actively or passively participate in social business events such as the GSBS and the related Academia Meeting. Initiate volunteer and exchange programs with established social businesses. Connect the practitioners, students, academics, industrial representatives of the social business network you established. In that way, they can continue the dialogue and launch projects. Now it is time to approach possible sponsors for a broader range of social business events or the launch of social business initiatives. These steps should be guided by senior members of the department and ideally the President of your university. If they ask for your opinion about social business, offer all the support you can. Lobby for Social Business Checklist
  39. 39. _38 Do it!
  40. 40. _39 Do it! Volunteer and Internships One way to get involved in social business and to contribute to positive social impact on the ground is through internships and volunteer programs. There is in many cases the option to do a full time internship usually over a period of three to six months, although some volunteer assignments might be available even for a shorter period of time. An alternative could be online volunteer opportunities where you could contribute your skills and your valuable time on a more flexible basis. Online volunteer opportunities usually look for specific skills, such as e.g. design skills, translations, basically skills and tasks which could be easily done in a remote way. Since there are more and more social businesses coming up, there are many opportunities to contribute to. Nevertheless, finding the right opportunity is not always an easy task, since in many cases the relevant information about open positions is widespread. As a good starting point, check websites and especially social media channels of all relevant social businesses on a regular basis. Again, networking and getting directly in contact with social businesses is a promising way. As mentioned before, conferences, workshops, lectures, etc. are a great way to find other like-minded people and to establish the first important connection. Finally, taking the initiative is always promising. Do not hesitate to send unsolicited applications to social businesses you really would like to work for, although this might require a bit more tenacity. Even if you “only” apply for an internship or a volunteer program, always keep in mind that you need to convince with your skills, but also with your passion for the idea.
  41. 41. _40 Your Own Social Business One of the most advanced ways to get involved is to simply start your own social business to tackle a social problem. In addition, getting active and starting your own social business is the best way to approach social issues in your community. First steps in setting up a social business are to understand the causes for social injustice in your environment and develop a change model: Ask questions and listen to people in your area to identify concrete social problems. Be aware and open to talk to people with biographical, cultural, social backgrounds different from your own. Now become concrete about what you want to achieve. Brainstorm with others about possible entrepreneurial solutions for the social problems you identified. What you need is a very good idea, just think of all the mediocre or bad ideas that waste money and lead to disappointment for you and all your partners. Therefore, you and persons familiar with the field in which you want to get started should really believe in your idea and you should have an answer to every “but…” comment. Otherwise it might be that you did not yet develop them very well. Make use of the feedback you receive, re-conceptualize and improve your idea. Also think about ways to visualize your idea with facts and figures so that your audience easily grasps your aims. As soon as you have your brilliant idea and a convincing concept, be prepared for the challenges and constraints you will face in the next months and years. Ups and downs are a normal part of a start up period. Innovation often means breaking down barriers that resist change. What you also need are business acumen, a solid business plan that builds on a smart and sustainable approach, and funding! For funding and coaching submit proposals to business plan competitions and social business incubators or social venture investors. If such conceptualizations have not been part of your studies, take a class and read books about how to design a business model and write a business plan. Calculate how much budget you need to start your social business and let professionals re-check the final calculations and the business plan. Think of which legal form is best to implement your idea. A SWOT analysis is a good tool you may want to apply. SWOT is a strategic planning method to evaluate the (S)trenghts and (W)eaknesses of your project as well the (O)pportunities and (T)hreats involved. Such an analysis helps you to consider all positive and negative consequences and effects that may result from your social business. The business plan is an important document that you will need to find partners, convince investors, to justify your approach and to be completely aware of what you are up to. An investor can be a company, a private person, but also organizations like Ashoka or the Schwab Foundation that regularly support social business entrepreneurs. Also think of other stakeholders in the field, how are you going to deal with established organizations, governments and other people that are affected by or interested in your project. They might become important proponents of your project and, if not, you should at least have a clear strategy of how to react on their actions. Don’t do it alone, find persons you know and you can trust who become your partners. Find mentors like other social business entrepreneurs for advice. Join conferences and connect yourself with other entrepreneurs and potential supporters of your idea. Contacts are already of value if they start talking about your project with a third person or mention your social business in a speech or workshop. Along with the promotion of the idea, you should already start implementing it. Depending on the social business design, you may start your approach with a couple families, one kindergarten etc. and then scale it to a higher level as soon as you have attracted an investor. Now, by the latest, you managed to transform your idea into reality. Do it!
  42. 42. _41 Do it! Have a clearly articulated purpose. Make sure the business model is sustainable. Make sure that both what and how you do it are about excellence. Don’t do it alone - Partner with people, build knowledge & expertise around you. Be ready for tough 36 months. Be innovative - Test and pilot new ways of doing things Measure your results Do it with joy! Do it Checklist
  43. 43. _42 About The Grameen Creative Lab
  44. 44. _43 What is The Grameen Creative Lab? The Grameen Creative Lab (GCL) is a social business GmbH, a joint venture between the Yunus Centre in Dhaka and circ responsibility GmbH & Co. KG in Wiesbaden. It was founded in 2008 by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus and Hans Reitz, a serial entrepreneur and creative advisor to the Yunus Centre. GCL is designed to accelerate the social business movement, in collaboration with an international network of talented and dedicated young professionals, entrepreneurs, companies, NGOs, governments, and universities.   As one of its objectives, GCL aims to bring social business into universities and create a social business culture within academia. GCL pursues this aim by introducing academic institutions to the social business concept and acting as a connector between universities which are an important part of the social business movement. GCL consults universities on how to introduce social business into their activities and curricula and how to expand their social business knowledge. Further GCL engages in joint initiatives, which help create an entire social business environment. The Grameen Creative Lab
  45. 45. _44 The Grameen Creative Lab info@grameencl.com www.grameencreativelab.com http://www.facebook.com/#!/GrameenCreativeLab

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