Home > Enterprise, Owner, Uncategorized > 8 Steps to Starting up a Social Enterprise

8 Steps to Starting up a Social Enterprise

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Starting any business can be more than a little daunting and adding a social element to the start-up process might make you feel like you have a huge mountain to climb, but broken down into smaller parts you may well find that it’s not quite the uphill struggle you thought it would be.

1. What’s the idea?

It’s likely that your social enterprise idea is driven by a want to help others, a wish to contribute to the community around you or perhaps a strong environmental focus. Whatever the idea, it’s likely your passion, drive and determination will get you a long way.

2. Where to start?

As with any business start-up you should go about your competitor research and exploration of the market in the same way. Consider your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, understand who your competitors are. Have a clear idea in your head as to why your product or service is unique and how it meets the needs of your potential customers.

3. Problem solving

You don’t need to be attempting to solve the world’s problems, just the one will suffice. Whatever the problem, whether it’s a social, environmental or community related issue be clear that you can tackle it in a way that’s relatively unique to your organisation.

4. What’s out there already?

If you find a social enterprise that mirrors your own, then have a good think about what you will be achieving by throwing your organisation into the mix.

5. Support close to home

Who can support you on your journey and what does their support look like? Find the right people to help drive your social enterprise forward. Contacting your favourite celebrity via social media isn’t necessarily going to bear fruit, but looking to those around you, close friends, family, colleagues is a good place to start. If you can inspire them to get behind your organisation you may feel more empowered to keep moving forward.

6. Accessing funds

Now to the tricky part; seeking funding can be a scary prospect but don’t despair there are a whole host of finance options available to you. All funding options have their pros and cons so make sure you do your research! Social Enterprise UK have a long list of organisations that may be of use to you.

7. Legal structures

Of course you will need to consider what legal structure your organisation is going to take, so go to GOV.UK to find out more.

8. Now what?

And when you’re ready, you can start to formulate that all important business plan. Templates are available from the Careers, Employment and Enterprise team and if you get stuck then book in an appointment with one of our Enterprise Advisors or look out for our next Business Planning workshop on campus, both bookable on CareerHub.

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