Their unique and personal view of social enterprise has inspired, motivated and shaped the Chivas Venture finalists’ daily efforts to establish successful startup businesses, in sectors as diverse as disability, recycling, sanitation, first aid, solar power, water purification and the production of sustainable protein.
Yet all share the same passion, no matter how broad their ambitions or laser-focused their goals, to make a positive impact on the world. Here some of this year’s finalists define what social enterprise means to them.
“A social enterprise is unique from both profit-driven and non-profit businesses. It uses innovative business approaches to address problems for the benefit of society. In the future I believe success will be redefined with less emphasis on financial gain and more on social return.”
– Robin Jun Lu of First Respond, who are making mutual assistance a social norm through first-aid training courses.
“Social enterprise is the mind of a business and the heart of a charity.”
– Lauren Shuttleworth of Words With Heart, who create eco-friendly custom print and stationery products, using proceeds to fund education projects for women and girls in the developing world.
“Social enterprises bring value to the world through business. They have the power to tackle the world’s challenges, provide inspiration, and demonstrate that business, environment and society go hand in hand.”
– Veronika Osvaldová of SmartHead, who enable companies and individuals to promote their socially responsible activities.
“They should strive to do three things: provide solutions for people, maximise impact and generate profits to further growth.”
– Tricia Compas-Markman of DayOne Response, who have designed backpacks that collect and purify 10 litres of contaminated water in 30 minutes.
“Being part of a social enterprise means you’re on a mission. Yes, generating money is involved but it should be as a result, not a primary objective.”
– Adam Kuzdraliński of NEXBIO, who use DNA testing to detect harmful diseases in crops.
“They should balance business growth with major improvements in people’s lives.”
– Marios-Ermis Petrotos of Laddroller, who have created a light and affordable wheelchair that enables users to stand up
“Doing business the right way. Making a positive impact on society as well as commercial gain. It means sustainability, winning the right way. Social enterprises are the linchpin for social and economic development around the world, and especially in developing countries.”
– Chioma Ukonu of RecyclePoints, who reward households for recycling their everyday waste.
“Vehicles of positive change – using innovative solutions to tackle social problems within a community.”
– Dickson Ochieng of Sanivation, who provide affordable sanitation services and transform human waste into clean-burning fuel.
“They provide a meaningful, positive impact in the community, offering an alternative to the status quo while also providing value for clients.”
– Daniel Dalet of SoloColo, who employ single mothers to produce sustainable coconut oil.
“Social enterprise is a change for good. It’s commercial entrepreneurship with a social conscience. Without that focus you’ll only ever achieve a drop in the ocean type of change. It’s not rocket science, but it’s still damn hard to get right.”
– Katharine Budd of NOW Money, a mobile banking app designed for those excluded from the financial system.
“When an entrepreneur creates a business that works for the benefit of an entire community, it becomes a social enterprise. A business's purpose is crucial. If it achieves the purpose of providing a collective benefit, only then can it materialise in financial success.”
– Júlio Oliveto Alves of Livre, who transform standard wheelchairs into electric tricycles to bring freedom and fun.
“Courageous, collaborative and selfless in their pursuit of positive change.”
– Will Chua of FOLO Farms, who turn hotel and restaurant waste into compost to grow organic vegetables.
“Social enterprise is a way for me to make my kids understand that respect and tolerance will bring positive change and that their actions have a direct influence on our future. It’s about being eco-innovative, proactive to solving problems and empowering people to know they can make a difference.”
– François van den Abeele of Sea2See, who convert ocean plastic waste, such as discarded fishing nets, into premium eyewear.
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