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Wome2.0

Women Changing The World Of Business From the Inside-Out Read

In the last few months we’ve been interviewing a number of amazing women who founded social enterprises in Asia and during our conversations some key factors that made them successful emerged. We would like to share these success factors together with their advise for first time social entrepreneur can help you to avoid making the same mistakes while you start your own entrepreneurial endeavour.

The core ingredient to successful entrepreneurship, which all entrepreneurs underlined, is the importance of having a clear mission, a cause that makes you move to the action in the first place, and which keeps you going when the going gets tough. During though times this passion needs to be complemented with other traits such as persistence and creativity and a positive attitude. But keeping the eye on your mission is crucial when your whole day-to-day work seems to be a rollercoaster of successes, followed by tough times, followed by successes, followed by though times… As Tian Zhongmin said “Never stop believing. Even now, despite the hardships, I still believe.”

However, even a strong motivation is not enough if you can’t match it with business skills such as organizational management and team management. As social entrepreneurs are exploiting market failures, a typical business education can prove useful, especially in the field of financial management, supply chain management or marketing. But that doesn’t mean you need an MBA. “That’s the beauty of entrepreneurship,” says SurePayroll President Michael Alter. “Anybody can go into business regardless of their education. A person’s level of education isn’t a big determinant of success. The things that matter are having a good business plan, finding a niche, being passionate about what you do, and working hard and smart to achieve your business goals.”

Especially for social entrepreneurs ‘learning by doing’ is valuable as they figure out their business model and the right approach to solve the market failure. Pushpa Basnet from Nepal outlines: “When I started I had no professional experience. I was still in college and yes, I received a good education but nothing could have prepared me for this experience. It has been doing this, the day in and day out, the experience that has taught me and has been learning-by-doing. Still, I am learning every day. Sometimes I make mistakes, but in this work that is normal- there is no clear right or wrong way of doing things. You have to take all the strategies and plans and try them out to see what works best. »

If they could give advice to you, other social entrepreneurs would recommend to you:

Pushpa Basnet, founder of Early Childhood Development Center: “Always remain down to earth and remember where you come from and why you started.”

Noreen Bautista, co-founder of EcoIngenuity Inc: “Read the Business Model Generation. It’s a very helpful book and start up tool that guides start-up entrepreneurs! It helps with the thought process. Another advice is to start a venture that you are absolutely passionate about. It will always get you through the challenging times.”

Sabriye Tenberken, founder of Braille Without Borders and Kanthari: “Embrace a risk like an adventure. Stay critical but always look and believe in the big vision so any obstacle on the way doesn’t appear so large.”

Diane Geng, co-founder of RCEF: “If you are an outsider to the community you want to serve, find partner(s) who are from that community to help you learn about the problems and design and implement solutions (especially as they may take a long time to take root).”

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