Various kinds of support is needed when launching your social enterprise. While suggestions and advice from investors and customers is very helpful, nothing can be more valuable than advice from the social entrepreneurs themselves. Here is a list of 20 inspiring suggestions and recommendations from social entrepreneurs from Latvia. (Read the original article in Latvian here: https://sua.lv/20-iedvesmojosi-musu-biedru-ieteikumi/
- “I wish you to find an idea that solves a problem, creates positive change in the society and is financially sustainable” – Mārtiņš Gulbis, science school for children and youngsters Laboratorium.
- “When starting to work in the field of social entrepreneurship, the most important is to create a team of like-minded people. Without that any project can stay only in your head or on the paper. Learn to speak, convince and defend your idea! Listen and do not be afraid to ask for advice! Even if something goes wrong, it is important to keep going and not give up. The longest road starts with the first step!” Oļesja Petrova, chairman of the board of the „Support centre for children and young people with limited opportunities „SMAIDS””
- “Don’t sit there hopefully waiting that there will come a day when your social business idea will successfully realize. Tell about it to everyone you meet – only then you will find like-minded people with whom to polish this idea and make it happen. If you are constantly afraid that someone will steal your idea, that is an indicator that that is not such a great idea after all. Therefore – think bigger, deeper and more powerful!” Andrs Hermanis, the founder of “BlindArt“
- “When busy with every-day tasks, do not forget that a social enterprise should solve a social problem” Eva Viļķina, the founder of “Cerību Spārni”
- “Putting terms “social” and “business” in one sentence is not inappropriate. The sustainability of working for the greater cause as well as the freedom to make the decisions is only possible if there is financial independence. Do not be afraid – social entrepreneurship is just another tool in your hands, and your success story will start with the first person that you will help” Madara Makare, the co-founder of “HOPP“
- “Choose such goals that are frightening and inspiring at the same time. The goal should be big and oriented towards other people. When it is so, we create new solutions and find new resources. We change the world. When we serve others, our personal goals are achieved automatically” Marina Pjanova, the founder of “Dzīvības Poga”
- It is not a secret that the number of Latvian population is decreasing, the population is aging, the energy is becoming more expensive and the stocks of natural resources are decreasing. Therefore such topics as multifunctionality and interdisciplinary cooperation on all levels become more and more important. The time of messuages is over. Social entrepreneurship is a new challenge and a creative solution for Latvia” Una Meiberga, the Lead of Development of Āgenskalna Market
- “Social enterprises can be so different but the most important is to clearly define your social goals and business direction” Liene Jurgelāne, director of “Kaņepes Laikmetīgās Kultūras Centrs”
- “The most important is not to give up! There always is a solution, sometimes you just need to stand on your head to be able to look from another angle. Talk to people – you can never know who will help you, it can be anyone!” Oļesja Soboļevska, the founder of charity shop „Otrā iespēja” in Daugavpils
- “In your every-day work, you have to be ready to deal with all kinds of administrative challenges, resistance, confusion, lack of knowledge, because not everyone around us lives with the feeling of mission. Therefore, it is important to always remember the result that you want to achieve and not to lose the initial social goal, and never stop dreaming!” Andris Bērziņš, director of “Latvijas Samariešu apvienība“
- “Every social entrepreneur wants to create a positive change in the society as well as create a sustainable business model. In order to do that, you have to be confident about your knowledge and idea, at the same time keeping the humility and never-ending desire to learn – like the one that children have. ”Elīna Ingelande, the founder and director of the programming school “Learn IT”
- “Do not do things just for the sake of doing. Do them when you have the vision and inner calling” Jānis Ģēģeris, director of HOPEN
- “When offering your good or service, always think about – what will the buyer gain from it?” Inga Akmentiņa-Smildziņa, director of Mammām un Tētiem
- “Be ready that the business environment is changing – it requires the ability to adapt ad to be flexible”Elīna Neilande, the founder and director of the charity shop network “Otrā elpa”
- “Do not ever stop, notwithstanding the circumstances. Anyone can find himself in this world, you just have to follow your dream” Natālija Jermolajeva, the founder of “OWA“
- “To live in harmony with yourself, nature, society is much more sustainable than just to earn money. The world is shaped within each of us.” Ingūna Semule, the founder and project manager of the social enterprise “Puordare”
- “As the basis for social business should serve the willingness to change the world. You have to believe in your idea, then also the others will start to believe and will follow” Rūta Dimanta, director of POGA
- “The social entrepreneurship business model provides opportunities and puts on responsibility. It is possible to realize ideas with the help of a motivated team and external specialists. Responsibility is in the hands of the manager, therefore I encourage to build the business on strong values so that it is possible to realize the opportunities”Elīna Novada, the founder of “Svaigi.lv“
- “Social entrepreneurs should not be ashamed of the word “profit”. It has to be understood that it is a form of business, not a charity. Profit is important! Only because of it we are able to realize our social goals. Profit=social goals, one is not more important than the other, they are of equal value” Elīna Bērziņa, the founder and director of “SIA Typical“
- “The basis of social business is business. In order to help as many people as possible, already from the beginning, you have to think what value will this business create and who will be willing to pay for it. Only then this enterprise will be sustainable” Jānis Kreilis, the founder and director of “Your Move”
Article from the www.socialenterprisebsr.net platform
Projects Social entrepreneurship development in the Baltic Sea region and Improvement of the social entrepreneurship networking and educational possibilities in the Baltic Sea region (No. 2017-1-LV01-KA204-035413) are executed under the Erasmus+ program and co-financed by the European Union.
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