What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Startups are known for solving problems of their consumers through new business models. It is the same with social startups. However according to the official definition of the BMWi there is a slight difference. Besides creativity and innovation a sustainable solution of societal and ecological problems is the center of attention. In all industries, in the food sector, the clothing industry or the non-profit sector are individuals that are not just looking for profit, but are also seeking to create added value for society as a whole.
Entrepreneurial success and social progress are not redundant!
…A statement Social Entrepreneurs are convinced of. But which criteria lead to success? There are three basic approaches:
- The service or product is new and therefore unrivaled.
- The service or product is not new, but offers an obvious cost advantage.
- The service or product is not new, but is a substantial improvement as compared to the old one.
Social Entrepreneurship in the Rhine Area
Especially for the first approach there have been some great examples. Besides the innovative potential of the worldwide startup-boom conventional concepts are still promising. Thereby consumer behavior plays an important role since customers like to save money and especially when it comes to food. People trying to get the next cheap offer can use the Coupies-App of the Cologne startup to receive the newest offers via phone and thus leave the pile of printed coupons at home. Coupies GmbH was founded by two students and is one of the most successful businesses when it comes to mobile couping.
- FoodLoop: An innovative application informs consumers about close-dated food with a short remaining shelf-life and thus reduces food waist within the industrial countries.
- Beeiming Box: Consumers who buy products online can donate 10% of the purchase price to a regional, social project.
- Kleiderrebell: As an alternative to the so called “fast fashion” the founder started a cloth rental online-store for everyday fashion.
- Fairfitters: The first eco fashion concept store in the Belgian quarter in Cologne. [Interview]
- Vegan Good Life: The lifestyle magazine offers not just sustainable products, but also inspires to reflect on one’s individual consumer behavior.
- curassist: The online-platform offers individual and personal care for patients as well as good working conditions for caregivers. [Interview]
- Volunteer World: The independent platform from Düsseldorf connects social projects and volunteers on a global scale.
- Start with a Friend: Through a matching system refuges and locals are able to meet at eye level. [Interview]
- Helpu: A location based matching system connects volunteers and refuges in Germany to overcome bureaucratic and logistic obstacles, like translation issues or doctor’s appointments.
- KinderRechteForum: Offers activities and consulting on the topic of youth and kids rights. [Interview]
Social Entrepreneurship – A concept for the future?
There are a lot of young entrepreneurs out there that already act on sustainable and profitable values and that make use of marketing and advertising to be successful in the market. If you are interested in more information on this topic please take a look at the following article: Social Entrepreneurship – Fachartikel. Also, in regard to the startup funding the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany just started to open up some funding programs for social entrepreneurs. For more detailed information see: Praxisleitfaden Soziales Unternehmertum.
Social Entrepreneurship Pitch
When it comes to Social Entrepreneurship the Rhine area is the place to be. On a regular basis we organize Social Entrepreneurship Pitches at which young entrepreneurs with a social or sustainable business model are invited to present their ideas to an audience of investors, startups, entrepreneurs, and everyone that is interested in the social entrepreneurship scene.
Why you should participate? At the Social Entrepreneurship Pitch you are able to present your idea to a professional audience and get the chance to receive constructive feedback as well as the opportunity to meet customers, new partners, co-founders or even new employees.
Join the community!