Collaborating with Impact

Series 10/14: Grass Route Social Innovation – Understanding the road towards integrating genuine grassroots social innovation into sustainable development.

Mini Series 2/4: Enterprising Collaboration – The series investigates how collaboration and partnership can empower us to build a resilient and sustainable future.

Social Enterprise

Entrepreneurship and social impact is not words we tend to associate. When I first started to consider the world of social impact I completely ignored the concept of entrepreneurship. I perceived entrepreneurship to be the poll opposite of social action, to be a world focused on profit instead of people. I wanted to develop an idea and expected to get funding just because it was a good project; a nice project. I soon realised that enterprise was important; doing good is great but going good effectively, sustainably and independently is better. Social entrepreneurship is not a confused mix in between entrepreneurship and social action, social entrepreneurship in an incredible tool  that has the potential to create sustainable and long long term change.

WEDU is an organisation that is combining the world of entrepreneurship and  social action and through this empowering future generations of female leaders. WEDU does this in two ways, first they provide funding for eduction to the Rising Stars, young woman with incredible leadership potential, as well as a mentor. The combination of financing and mentoring is powerful and enables the Rising Stars to become incredible change makers. WEDU has also worked with its Rising Stars to create a sustainable funding model, in which the funding is repaid by the Rising Stars to the investors. This creates a sustainable model in which WEDU can have a greater impact and work with more Rising Stars. The Rising Stars want to give back and the model WEDU has created is based on the Best Alternative Charitable Option (BACO) developed by ACUMEN. This suggest that the financial product created by WEDU will generate a far greater impact than charitable donation alone.

Another organisation revolutionising the way we understand entrepreneurship and impact is YuGoFund. YuGoFund has developed a crowd funding model that those fare more than just raising funds.  YuGoFund works with the organisation, they are fundraising for, to understand and measure their impact; this empowers both the donor and the organisation. YuGoFund enables the organisation to understand and quantify their impact and in doing so work in a more effective manner. The donor is then informed of the impact of their donation and can understand how they are making a difference. YuGoFund is an innovative project that has the potential to change the way we give to organisation.

YoGoFund and WEDU have both inspired me in my understanding of social enterprise. Social entrepreneurship is more than a model, it is the collaboration in between enterprise and impact, it bring together the best of both worlds and enables a virtuous circle of sustainable development. If we are to bring about a global change in the way we design and problem solve then it needs to be led by collaborators, people who are not afraid to do thing differently and bridge the gap in between traditional disciplines. As designers we must be willing to go outside are comfort zone and collaborate with others, learn from others. Through this cross-pollination we can design new solution that meet ever increasing and complex demands.


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