As Program Director for our operations in Albania, I frequently get the chance to talk to entrepreneurs and enjoy their enthusiasm about their social business ideas, about impacting people’s lives and about making a difference for their community—a great ride which I am truly thankful for. However, in many cases, too many cases really, social entrepreneurs tend to think that all that’s needed to turn their idea into reality is financial support. Well, even though financing is important, a huge chunk of money is not going to guarantee the success of a social business.
This article advocates an evolutionary process to financing your business. It all comes down to the fact that every business idea is based on some very fundamental assumptions such as “customers are going to love the product,” “suppliers will be happy to support me” or “my business is scalable beyond belief”. Those assumptions require real-life validation, proof that these assumptions are correct. Let’s look at this based on the example of a fictitious social business selling innovative handicraft products, manufactured by people with disabilities. Read the rest of this entry »