SocialPreneurs: Businesses Good at Doing Good

Author: Lake Effects Blog

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The social entrepreneurial movement centers on being a societally, environmentally and morally conscious professional.   It recognizes the need to conduct business in a manner that is reciprocal; both taking and giving from material, cultural or human resources.  What makes them unique? Their ability to make a difference and make a profit at the same time.

Regardless of the niche or industry, business is a complex ecosystem and more trending for-profit entities and business leaders are slowing down to take a closer more critical look at the impact of their business processes.  Whether that means evaluating off shore manufacturing and work conditions in third-world countries, improving methods to reduce negative consequences on the natural environment or cultivating ecologically sustainable practices, more businesses are adopting socialpreneurial policies.

Advantages of the SocialPreneurial Trend

From a fiscal perspective, there are many advantages for SME’s and corporations to explore more environmentally friendly options.   The Small Business Administration offers a number of tax incentives to encourage energy conservation, and offers tax credits for energy efficiency.

Naturally, corporations who develop a trust or foundation to organize and fund charitable programs for religious, educational, scientific, literary education or for the protection and service to children, war veterans or for animal welfare and advocacy qualify for charitable tax credits.   The provision makes it not only morally rewarding to contribute to or spearhead worthwhile programs, but financially advantageous as well.

From a public relations perspective, socialpreneurial businesses enjoy a favorable boost in terms of public perception by demonstrating a commitment to immediate community needs.  By exhibiting an interest in macro level global economic and environmental concern, businesses can position themselves as thought leaders for qualitative and socially responsible production and distribution practices.

Corporations Doing Good Locally

Walgreens developed an innovative “Life Is Local” program that assigned community leaders in major cities across the United States.  The purpose of the designated ‘Community Leaders’ is to identify key opportunities for Walgreens Corporate to participate in local charitable events that create an impact in their own immediate community.  The criteria for funding in this program supports Walgreens commitment to access, outreach and education in health and wellness.

Allstate Insurance created the Allstate Foundation that funds (among other community grants offered) a Teen Safe Driving program and a partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).  Both programs support the organizational core value to protect the safety of their local community.

Are you inspired by the socialpreneurial efforts made by your organization? Leave a comment and share with us.


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Lessons from the Frontlines of Entrepreneurship

Author: Manish Shah

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I have distilled the most important lessons from my experience as an entrepreneur.

Develop EQ

To be a successful leader one needs high Emotional Intelligence. Having a high IQ and technical skills are necessary but not sufficient traits for leadership success. Emotional intelligence comprises of qualities such as:

  • Self-Awareness—a clear understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses,
  • Self-Regulation—control of one’s emotions and ability to channel them to create a positive impact,
  • Motivation—achievement not just for external gain but for internal fulfillment,
  • Empathy—understanding of other peoples’ perspectives and feelings in making decisions, and
  • Social Skills—skillful management of relationships with other people. These qualities can be developed by self-awareness and reflection.

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How Crowdsourcing and Start-Ups Go Hand in Hand

Author: Greg Kozak

Monday, June 09, 2014

Having an idea is only the start of the uphill climb to seeing its underlying vision become a reality.  When discussing start-up enterprises, the term ‘crowdsourcing’ generally follows close behind and is almost synonymous.

In a more robust global economy and in the past, entrepreneurs have been able to secure investment and capital from financial institutions.  Thanks to the ‘credit crunch,’ most freelance entrepreneurs have little chance of securing investment through traditional sources – which is why crowdsourcing is such a viable option for launching new platforms and ideas.

Crowdsourcing is a term that originates from two words: crowd and outsourcing.  For many businesses, it is the best way to get the necessary support needed to take a product from concept to market successfully.


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