StartSomeGood

Tips and inspiration for changemakers from the social impact crowdfunding website, StartSomeGood


Leave a comment

This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: More Things to Look Forward to in 2017!

photo-1-isf-2013-1024x667

Be with like-minded individuals in the different festivals you can join this year!

We hope you are all settling well into 2017. We are back this week with events and opportunities to add to your calendar & articles and news clips on social entrepreneurship around the globe. Enjoy!

Opportunities and Events

The Global Good Fund Announces 5th Annual Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs

Now on its fifth year, learn more about The Global Good Fund’s annual fellowship for social entrepreneurs in partnership with Johnson & Johnson who will sponsor three fellows who have innovation ideas when it comes to healthcare challenges.

Startup Fest in Montreal – July 12-15, 2017

Join the Startup Festival in Montreal this July and be amongst global entrepenreneurs, founders, investors, and mentors. Startupfest is for everyone whether you are a startup or an investor. Register now as early bird tickets are up for grabs until 18 February!

SXSW in Austin, Texas – March 10-19, 2017

If you’re in Austin, Texas this March, drop by The South by Southwest Conference featuring professionals and big names in the creative industry. Visit their website for more details.

Radical Self Care Project 

Starting February 1, take part of a 28-day program that focuses on authentic and intentional self care, which tends to get buried under all the responsibilities we need to attend to. Check this out as it may be for you!

 

News, Reports, Insights

MSU launches speaker series January 19 featuring social entrepreneurs

Montana State University is kicking off a four-part social entrepreneurship speaker series. Speakers will impart knowledge on topics such as environmentally sustainable products, food security, autism and music education, and more. Visit their site for more details.

Millenials (and more) turn to business to make social change

Read this article from the University of Southern California News about how millenials are now more and more looking into businesses to make social change. In 2008, USC founded the first social enterprise program housed in an American business school known as Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab. Learn more about it through the link above.

JDC’s Social Hackathon aims to help vulnerable Israelis

In Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Community hosted a social impact hackathon in partnership with large tech players like Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Microsoft. With over 100 participants in 30 mentors, the event asked the programmers to develop programs and apps to address challenges in Israel with regards to people of old age or with disabilities. 21 ideas were chosen to be further developed and 3 of these received top awards.

 

Inspiration

Relevance is vital for social entrepreneurship

The Hindu Business Line talks about the importance of relevance in the realm of social entreprenership and how the first step is to “understand the people at whom the venture or product is aimed”.

The profit in social impact: Business models that balance social relevance and bottom lines

There is a current rise in investments in enterprises whose business models give equal emphasis to profitability and social relevance. This is an interesting read especially for social entrepreneurs who strive for social impact.

The 17 Rules These Entrepreneurs Say You Should Break in 2017

Meet 17 entrepreneurs who share tips and secrets on what to give up this 2017. Learn from their experiences to be more productive, present, and healthy in growing your businesses and ideas this year.

 

Let us know if you have links you would like to share. Email us at hello@startsomegood.com with “TWISE” in the subject line. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Leave a comment

This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: 2017 is the Year

new-year-goals

Happy New Year from StartSomeGood!

Happy new year, everyone! We trust you all had wonderful celebrations filled with food, fireworks, and tons of laughter.

To kick off this year, we collected a couple of links relevant in our social entrepreneurship world that could be of interest to you. Scroll down and enjoy!

 

Opportunities and Events

2017: A Year for Social Entrepreneurs

StartSomeGood co-founder Tom Dawkins has a new year’s message especially for you. Read and find out what opportunities you have with us here at StartSomeGood.

Social Entrepreneurship Pitchfest at Pausefest 2017

Do you have a social enterprise idea that you would like to see come true? Get the chance to pitch it at Social Entrepreneurship Pitchfest at Pausefest 2017 in Melbourne, Australia! There will be a pool of experts in the realm of social enterprise, start-up and technology to share ideas and rub elbows with. Applications are open until 5pm, Monday 16 January 2017.

Social Business Consultant Fellow with Alterna Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

Grab this internship opportunity at Quetzaltenango, Guatemala that offers a unique chance for a hands-on experience at supporting local entrepreneurs who have a shortage in access to high-quality business services. You can apply until 7 February 2017.

 

News, Reports, Insights

The Gates effect: Social Entrepreneurship Reframes Charity

Read about how social entrepreneurship is reframing charity in South Africa and what they call “The Gates effect”.

Putting Community First in Social Innovation Education

Here is a good read on how educators can teach students to become collaborative community partners. This article is part of a series from Stanford Social Innovation Review regarding the future of social impact education.

Entrepreneur Designs New Electric Wheelchair and Car for Quadriplegics

Talk about innovation for a cause! Read all about how an entrepreneur designed this wonderful tool for quadriplegics.

 

Inspiration

Meet The Social Entrepreneurs Giving Back Around the Globe

In this life of social entrepreneurship, it is always a great encouragement to know that you are not alone. Read this article to meet other social entrepreneurs making an impact in other parts of the world.

7 Social Entrepreneurs on How They Finally Got Their Big Break

Some entrepreneurs talk about their success stories. Read and be inspired. Whether you have gotten your big break or not, know that it is never too late for a breakthrough.

Day in the life: Social entrepreneur and philanthropist connects volunteers globally

Stuart Rees Jones, social entrepreneur and philanthropist, is the founder and chief executive of Camps International, which is known as a for-profit social enterprise providing experiential learning experiences for students worldwide. Read this article on how he goes about his day. Take mental notes, too. You could learn a thing or two.

 

Email us at hello@startsomegood.com for suggestions of links to include in this series. Include “TWISE” in the subject line.

 


Leave a comment

Social Enterprise Virtual Summit: What do you want to learn about?

We’re pretty sure this guy is checking out a Virtual Summit.

With so many global challenges, individuals are constantly seeking to create the change they want to see in the world. We believe everyone can be a changemaker, and our platform enables those who are ready to take action. However, we also believe that it is important to give anyone the skills, knowledge and motivation to turn ideas into a reality.

To help with this, we’re going to be hosting a Social Enterprise Virtual Summit. This will be a series of video interviews related to social entrepreneurship, from social entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We already have some of our own ideas, but we want to hear from you!

What would you like to learn about? Are there certain topics you’re interested in? What would help you in your journey?

Who would you like to hear from? This can be anyone who inspires you or who is the best at what they do.

We want to make this the best experience for you, so share your thoughts here! https://goo.gl/forms/NOihQX10wxWDfAph2


Leave a comment

Pitch for Good Adelaide showcases local social enterprises

pitch_for_good_logo-approved

p4g-adelaide-header-image

We were recently in Adelaide co-hosting Pitch for Good Adelaide with Adelaide City Council, our live-pitching-meets-crowdfunding model which we’ve previously run in Melbourne and Parramatta.

Pitch for Good is a showcase of great local social enterprises, in this case three ventures graduating from Adelaide’s Social Venture Incubator, and serves as the launch for their crowdfunding campaigns on StartSomeGood. Attendees got to allocate their ticket fee towards the enterprise(s) of their choice and these funds were matched by Open State, for which we are very grateful. Thanks also to Adelaide City Council and to Lord Mayor Martin Haese for his address on the night, Moira Deslandes for her logistical and promotional support and to everyone who came along on the night.

Now it’s up to you! All three ventures have tipping points beyond what was raised on the night and are seeking the support they need to launch or expand. Their models serve refugees, under-employed women and later-career entrepreneurs using biking, food and co-working, so please chip in to the one that speaks to you most!

Harvest Fair

Harvest Fair is a social enterprise which uses the power of good food to advance gender equity in Australia.

harvest-fair

 

Adelaide Bike Kitchen

Spreading the benefit of cycling to those in need.

bikes-for-good

 

Catalyst Collaborative

The Catalyst Collaborative Coworking Community – A place and space to make business happen!

 

catalyst-collaborative

We are looking forward to more Pitch for Good events in more places next year so if you want to bring Pitch for Good to your town please get in touch!


Leave a comment

Social Entrepreneurship with Simon Sinek: An Except from Rank & File Magazine

An excerpt from Rank & File magazine.

simon-sinek-social-entrepreneurship-rank-ankd-file-blog

Award winning author, motivational speaker and leadership guru Simon Sinek, who uses the power of storytelling with a parable-like quality, first planted his concepts of “Start With Why” and “The Golden Circle” into the hearts of our corporate executives back in 2009, spawning one of the most popular TED Talks of all time.

To date, Simon has penned two best sellers — “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” and “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.” Beyond writing, Simon works as an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world, and he regularly comments for respected local and national media outlets like NPR and The New York Times.

Accolades aside, Simon embodies his teachings. He is approachable, humble and generous with his time. These character traits are exactly what made Rank & File aspire to sit down with Simon to discuss social entrepreneurialism, including the biggest mistakes that social entrepreneurs make, why cultivating inner character is a critical step in the leadership journey, and how leaders should become guiding “Cause Holders” for their companies. During our interview, we spoke in length about the benefits and dangers in the growing social enterprise trend — a topic about which Simon holds some strong opinions.

“I like the idea of social entrepreneurship, but to fully embrace the goodness of social entrepreneurship you have to treat everyone right,” he told Rank & File. “Not just the chosen receivers of your goodness.”

Simon went on to explain that he thinks the term “social enterprise” may be thrown around too loosely. From Simon’s view, the key to developing a successful and impact-driven social enterprise is to first look internally before projecting externally. Practically, this means focusing heavily on your company’s foundational values and character and allowing this core element to act as the lead domino for all of your outward-facing programs.

“You have all these well-intended young entrepreneurs out there [wanting] to do something of social importance, looking externally,” said Simon. “And yet, while building their companies, they may mistreat their own people. It’s like being a child psychologist but abusing your own children. It doesn’t make sense. And so I find it fascinating how people can be so obsessed with an external while ignoring the internal. To be good at anything, in any company, it has to start from within.”

This challenge comes at an opportune time, as thousand of young people approach social entrepreneurialism with a new enlightenment to accomplish social good through their startups. So what are the keys then to fully embrace the calling of our responsibilities as social entrepreneurs? How do we go forth as strong leaders that focus internally when we may be fighting to keep all the wheels on our fragile businesses in the marketplace? Sinek’s teachings challenge us to dig deep.

In the spirit of shifting our perspectives to focus on the internal rather than the external, Simon encourages us to cultivate humility.

We social entrepreneurs have a tendency to view our business models as superior to mainstream programs and organizations. Indeed, we are often guilty of forming cliques and belittling traditional methods of conducting business and outreach.

From Simon’s perspective, abandoning this superiority complex and developing humility will actually allow us to have greater social impact, both personally and professionally.

“[Having] the word ‘social’ in your product or business [mission] doesn’t actually mean that you are a good company,” said Simon. “And not doing those [social good] things doesn’t make you a bad company. You can make any type of widget and treat people right. And the people who work for you will have better marriages, treat their kids better, and treat people that they interact with on a daily basis better, and they will have a great impact on the community.”

Simon didn’t disparage the value of social entrepreneurship or individuals’ desires to achieve social outcomes through their business models. Yet, his advice cuts through the hype often associated with the social good sector, reminding us to get back to the core — the ABC’s, so to speak — of what it means to be a social entrepreneur. Among other things, having a humble attitude entails respecting traditional business models who conduct their affairs with integrity and treat their employees and stakeholders with dignity.

Become a Holder of Your Cause.

In the social enterprise space, we hear a lot about “social innovation,” especially as it relates to sustainable energy and technology. But what do we mean when we use the term? Usually, we’re describing a tangible, specifically applied approach to making change through new models while challenging norms and bureaucracies, achieving new levels of efficiency, and defending the inherent rights and dignity of human beings.

However, Simon pointed out that these models are only social enterprise products. He developed this idea using a classic example: Apple.

“The product, no matter what it is, is just the manifestation of an underlying cause,” he said. “Steve Jobs’ obsession was empowering people to stand up to the status quo. That was their cause. The personal computer was the manifestation of their cause — a product that gave an individual power to compete against a corporation.”

Next came the iPhone. Prior to Apple, cell phone functionality was determined by cell service providers. “Apple showed up and said, ‘No, we are going to tell you what the phone will do,’’ placing all of the power into the hands of cell phone manufacturers and, ultimately, consumers themselves. With the development of the iPhone, Apple challenged the status quo yet again, fulfilling one of Jobs’ core values.

“The key for Apple and all of us is not confusing our innovations or our products as our cause,” said Simon. “They are three separate things. Innovation doesn’t come from our social desire to give and solve world poverty, although it’s a great thing to do. The innovation comes from actually having a disposition, actually having a cause, and actually having a why…”

Remember that your social innovation models and your solutions to problems are not your cause. They are your products and services.

Identify your root cause. What is your underlying motivation for developing these innovative products and services? Dig deep — past the tangible, past your approach, past your mission statement, and past your goals and objectives. Ask yourself “Why?” again and again until you know what underlying motivation or belief is fueling your efforts. Then keep your cause at the forefront of everything that you do…


The full version of this story, including Simon’s 7 Steps for Students of Leadership, is available in Rank & File Magazine. Rank & File is much more than a magazine. They are a community of risk-takers, like you, who believe people are worth serving and business can create change. Download the Rank & File App for Apple and Android today to start reading for free.

Photos in this article courtesy of © Simon Sinek, Inc.


3 Comments

Not Just Another Crowdfunding Platform: Our Partnerships Help You Double Your Money

Week 6

TL:DR Version

If you’re an impatient social entrepreneur reading this, here’s the gist: we partner with businesses, foundations and governments to boost the funds raised by selected social benefit projects on our site, often by providing up to half your funding goal up-front. We have three of these opportunities open right now – find them under the “Funding Opportunities” heading on our homepage.

If you want to know how and why we arrived at this model, read on…

How Best to Support Change?

If you’ve been with us for any length of time you know this, but StartSomeGood was founded with a mission to help innovative community benefit projects share their stories and raise the funds they need to launch, whether run by a social enterprise, a not-for-profit or a local community group or changemaker.

Like all the other crowdfunding platforms out there, our focus was (and remains) to build great tools to help for you to rally your community. For many platforms, that’s all they do, leaving projects to sink or swim entirely on their own. But we wanted to go further than that, because it was never about throwing projects out there, it was about helping them to succeed, and this, we rapidly learned, meant also focusing on coaching entrepreneurs on how to use these tools effectively.

We put more emphasis on coaching and supporting people to set up projects which succeed, which is why we have the highest success rate in cause crowdfunding.

But still, we were dissatisfied.

There are great ideas out there that struggle to get the attention of funders – particularly those with the capacity to make bigger investments – and which fail to gain the momentum they need to reach their goals, despite the quality or importance of the idea. While crowdfunding is an amazing tool for making new things possible it’s not a meritocracy with regards to those ideas. Those with more resources, connections, marketing experience and time will naturally tend to do better.

We kept asking ourselves how we could best help the best projects, based on the quality of their ideas, and help connect them with potential funders.

The answer came to us thanks to a conversation with ING DIRECT Australia. They had a somewhat different problem they wanted to solve: they were keen on supporting more grassroots projects, but uncertain about how to differentiate between the volume of ideas they were likely to receive without staffing up a major foundation, which they didn’t want to do. They also wanted to better leverage all their resources, including their communications channels and relationships, to support these projects, not simply provide a grant.

And a new approach to funding innovation was born.

Introducing Crowdmatch

Crowdmatch_Logo

We now call this model Crowdmatch, and we’re really excited about how well it works for both entrepreneurs, who get a huge boost at the start of their campaigns, and for our funding partners, who see their risk reduced, their funds go further and their community get more involved.

Crowdmatch sees a funding partner support a group of projects either from the start of their crowdfunding campaign, by providing up to half of the funds they are seeking, which then needs to be matched by the community, or at the end, based on meeting specific goals.

The goal of Crowdmatch is to better connect philanthropic giving with community aspirations and impact investing with market input.

The combination  gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits the best chance to raise the funds and rally the community backing they need to do good, while making institutional funding more targeted and impactful.

With ING DIRECT we are now into our third year of Dreamstarter and the sixth cohort of projects supported through the program will launch in two weeks. Through Dreamstarter ING DIRECT have invested about $200,000 in community benefit projects and together we have helped them crowdfund more than $300,000 more, with a 90% participant success rate.

We are working hard to increase the number of these opportunities available. Just in the last week we have launched two new opportunities.

New Crowdmatch Opportunities:

EFF Social Enterprise Design Challenge cover image

The Social Enterprise Design Challenge presented by the English Family Foundation is a rare and exciting opportunity for Australian-based non-profit social enterprises to design and test a “visionary” new project.

It will fund four projects for half their fundraising goal, up to $15,000 each. Find out more about what they’re looking for and how to apply here. Applications due by May 5.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.06.58 AM

The Young Changemakers Crowdmatch will support Australian changemakers aged 18-29 to develop and run crowdfunding campaigns, with $5,000 in match funds going to the projects with the most supporters and most funds raised at the end. Participating projects will get help from experts in both organisations and have their campaigns promoted to over 150,000 people.

Find out more and how to apply here. Applications due May 1.

Why just Australian opportunities? Because that’s what these particular partners are looking to fund and who is live right now, but we hear you, we want to create opportunities for everyone reading this and are in discussions with potential Crowdmatch partners in several countries. If you would like to see this model available to great projects in your country we would love your suggestions for potential partners as we are looking for new partners to add new opportunities all around the world! And if you are that potential partner, well….

Interested in Changing the World Together?

You can find out more about partnership opportunities with StartSomeGood here and when you’re ready get in touch with us here. We’d love to talk with you about collaboration!

Crowdmatch5

 


1 Comment

By Social Entrepreneurs, For Social Entrepreneurs

1

At StartSomeGood we are very clear on why we exist: to support social entrepreneurs, non-profits and community groups to rally the community support they need to make a difference.

This comes directly from our founders, Tom Dawkins and Alex Budak. It’s not just that they founded StartSomeGood with the intention of support world changing initiatives, it’s that they had founded such initiatives themselves previously and so intimately understood the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs and community groups to raise the funds they need to make a difference.

Prior to StartSomeGood Alex had founded a major student group at UCLA and Tom had founded award-winning Australian non-profit youth organization Vibewire. Over eight years Tom brought $1 million into Vibewire to fuel their innovative community-development projects, including opening the first co-working space in Australia.

Alex and Tom met working at global social entrepreneurship champion Ashoka in Washington, D.C. They shared a passion for the power of technology to support grassroots change and innovation. But the social innovation sector has a challenge: for the most part it’s not innovative enough. 

This is because funding for the sector traditionally comes from risk-adverse investors: government, corporate foundations, the wealthy. Most want to support “proven” innovation, but this isn’t real innovation at all. What was needed was an equivalent of “angel investors” for the social sector, prepared to back new ideas at the earliest stage and see what sort of impact they could create.

Inspired by the impact of Kickstarter who were solving a similar problem for creative entrepreneurs – how to go around the traditional gatekeepers and build a community of small-dollar supporters instead – Tom and Alex decided to give social entrepreneurs, and all organizations working for a better world, the same opportunity and support.

StartSomeGood exists to support social entrepreneurs, grassroots changemakers, and innovative organizations. We dream of a world where we innovate quicker and can find and scale the initiatives we need to build a better future for all of us, and where communities have access to the tools and support they need to build that future for themselves, rather than waiting for an outside authority to save them. This, to us, is democracy in action.

And everything we’ve done since then is focused on this mission.

This is why we invented the Tipping Point, because it gives innovation the best chance to succeed.This is why we provide the most meaningful support, why we hold ourselves accountable to helping you succeed before we earn any income, why we work with innovative partners like ING DIRECT, the City of Fremantle and the Foundation for Young Australians to give great social impact projects access to additional funding and support through our Crowdmatch program. This is why we are a B Corp, to hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards.

This commitment to social entrepreneurs, social benefit projects and social change is ultimately why we have the best project success rate going, which means working with us gives you the best possible statistical chance of success. Not trying to boast, but it’s true.

StartSomeGood: Not just another crowdfunding platform.