How to make a social enterprise idea stand out
MANILA, Philippines – There can be many proposed ideas to solve problems in society. However, not all ideas can stand out. (READ: Standout solutions: The winning ideas from #HackSociety 2017 )
In the Philippines, a study shows there are already 164,473 social enterprises contributing to poverty alleviation. These innovative social enterprises have been trying to solve different problems.
During the ASEAN + Social Good Summit held at the Rappler HQ on Monday, November 13, various experts and social entrepreneurs discussed different insights on how to make a social enterprise idea thrive.
According to Percival Cendeña, a former commissioner at the National Youth Commission, what makes millennials move forward with their ideas is their pasaway mindset.
"In Filipino, we have this term called pasaway which can be translated into English as being unruly or the refusal to follow rules. You can't just give millennials a problem and say there are no solutions. They will always find answers to the solution," Cendeña said.
He added that a good thing about millennials today is that they don't stop seeking and coming up with bold and crazy solutions for the problems that the elders might have given up on.
Two of the panelists during the discussion served as perfect examples.
Cristina Guanzon and Pauline Guanzon are sisters who founded E.A.R.S by Innovable, Incorporated.
E.A.R.S. stands for Early Action Response System, which offers a wearable device for the deaf. It has a sensor and vibration system that can serve as a safety assistant for the deaf in public places.
Born with a disability, Cristina chose to seek solutions that can help her. She did not let her disability define what she can and cannot do.
Pauline said that it was the disability that served as the greatest motivation for her sister to innovate.
"People with disabilities are not less of a person. They just have different strengths and abilities. [Christina] wanted to prove that she is not just this, she can do so much more," Pauline added.
Katrina Chan, Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub, also shared what talents they look for in millennials today.
"There are so many ideas and innovations out there but it's really the entrepreneurs that understand the problem, validate with their customers, and execute solutions that enjoy success and make an impact," she said.
Just like any other startups, aspiring social entrepreneurs must be aware of the inevitable challenges they will face as they turn their ideas into actions.
Pauline Guanzon shared one important tip in times of trying times. "Stand firm on your why because your who and how might change," she said.
She added that there might people who will bring you down but what is important is that you find the right people to work with.
Another tip would be to check the replicability of the idea or solution. "How do you develop a franchise for a certain idea? Try to imagine your program in a different place. If it works, then it is a better idea. Imagination and collaboration will play a big role," Cendeña shared.
Chan, for her part, urged millennials to not be afraid of failure. They might encounter a stumbling block as they go through the journey but what matters is how they use the stumbling block to move forward. (READ: A tip for startups: Dare to Fail )
"It's okay to fail. As long as you learn from it, maybe you pivot, maybe you do something else but it's the whole experience of going [on] and innovating with a purpose that what we are all going for," she said. – Rappler.com