2c) Planning & Preparations

Now is The Best Time to launch an Activist Enterprise!

Modern technology makes it easier to start, manage and grow a social enterprise than at any other time in history.

Today you can do almost all the research for launching your enterprise whilst still having a full-time ‘normal’ job.

Innovations that can help bring your vision to life!

It is now possible for an Activist Entrepreneur to run their business from a computer or smartphone anywhere in the on the planet!

Your website instantly connects you to the world and sets forth your cause and message.

Social media allows you to cultivate an interest base who you can directly communicate with regarding your product/service/issue.

Merchant accounts and third payment processing options are easy to set up and accessible online anytime day or night.

By using Dropbox or Google Docs you can share documents and collaborate online with others globally.

Smart and Efficient use of these technologies also helps to keep down the administrative cost of running a successful enterprise!

Getting Started means being Prepared!

While today technologies when utilized well can offer enormous advantages there is still no substitute for good old fashioned preparation!

While crowdfunding platforms offer a very viable means by which to raise capital you will still need to have determined what your requirements are ahead of time.

The following sections deal with the more ‘traditional’ aspects of preparing to launch a business venture.

Mission Statement and goals: Before you think about buying anything, hiring anyone, or marketing make sure you have a clear mission.  

What do you want to fix, change, or create that will make the world a better place?

Your mission statement should be broad enough to last the test of time but specific enough to direct your work.  

A mission statement of “Make the world better” will always be relevant, but too broad to have any specific actionable goals. Find a healthy medium.

    • What are you actually producing/selling?
    • What do you need? Space, permits, tools, training, etc.
    • How will you turn raw materials or labor into your product or service?
    • How can your product be more sustainable than other products on the market?
    • What are your social responsibilities?
      • What is the bottom-line when you incorporate environmental and social good?
    • How does the product/service fit the owner’s personal mission?

A mission statement should cover three cornerstones; product, customer, and strategy.

    1. Product – What are you selling?
    1. Customer – Who are you selling to? May be individuals, other businesses, etc.
  1. Strategy – How are you going to sell your product to your customers?

Translate the mission into measurable terms.

Objectives are quantifiable statements that include short, intermediate, and long-term time frames.

Examples include:

    • Increase sales by 30% in the next year through value added markets
    • Adapt technology to reduce labor cost by 25% in the next five years
    • Increase production by 40% in the next three years
  • Implement a new product/service that addresses another social issue within the next year

Business goals and be categorized into long-term DRIVE and short-term SMART goals.

    • Long-term goals
        • Directional – Shows where your business is going
        • Realistic – Can you accomplish it?
        • Inspirational – Is it a “stretch” goal? Are you going for something greater?
        • Visible – Like measurable, but with less rigor
      • Encompassing – Whole business, not just one segment
  • Short-term goals
      • Specific – Something you can act on
      • Measurable – Actual quantifiable number
      • Attainable – Can you accomplish it?
        • Like realistic in DRIVE
      • Rewarding – Is it a “stretch” goal? Are you going for something greater?
        • Like inspirational in DRIVE
    • Timed – Date when it is evaluated

Create a business plan!

Even if the idea is crystal clear in your head, writing it down and putting it into a structure will help with three things:

  • (i)  it will further help develop the idea.  
  • (ii) it will breakdown the larger project into manageable portions.  And finally,
  • (iii) it will give you a concise and tangible synopsis of your business idea to show to lenders and prospective investors.

“But I don’t have an MBA! I never went to business school!”  

No worries!! A business plan is simply your idea put into a concise, strategic structure.

There are numerous tools online that can help you in this area, such as this template from the Small Business Association : SBA Business Plan Template.

It’s also good to keep your Business Plan concise but informational. Not only will this help you organize your idea but it is also what you would show to banks or other lending institutions if you need to get a loan or investment support.  

A little showmanship can definitely aid in this area, graphs and financial projections are a must.  The idea is to find a balance between marketing your idea to help you get a loan and being realistic so that you can actually back up your idea too!  You want the loan officer to believe in your idea, but also to know that this is a smart financial investment for the bank or investor.

This is our guide to get you started on your C.A.F.E. Enterprise Business Plan!

  1. The Problem & the Opportunity: What is the problem that you are passionate about? What idea do you have to solve this problem & make a living from it?
  2. Your Mission: What do you wish to achieve in the long run by creating this product or service? (Must be memorable, manageable, measurable, motivational)
  3. Theory of Change: What actions & resources will you use to achieve the results that you would like to accomplish? Convert your theory to action (your solution to the problem)
  4. Product Description: Describe your product or service.  Be concise but detailed, you want someone to read your description and have a complete understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.  This section should include relevant details about sourcing parts, labor, or knowledge.  A key aspect to the product/service description should be what makes you unique.
  5. Your Team: Who will help you execute your business plan?(what kind of skills and expertise will they need)
  6. Context: What approaches have already been attempted to solve the problem? Who are you ‘competing’ against? Why will your approach solve the problem more effectively? What makes your product or service unique?
  7. Scaling Strategy: How will you grow to maximize your business impact on society?
  8. Market Analysis: Who are you trying to appeal to? Can you expand this market?  Does the market have a disposable income and a willingness to purchase your product/ service?  How are you going to appeal to your market?   How will you assess the effectiveness in achieving your mission?
  9. Risks: What risks are you taking by creating this product or service?
  10. Financial Plan: How will you finance your business plan? What strategy will you use?

The last part of your business plan is arguably the most important, it should be done last but shown first.  This is your executive summary.  It is a short (one or two pages max) summary of your entire business plan.  Someone should be able to read just your executive summary and have a strong working knowledge of your plans.  It is also your pitch.  This is the first item viewed on your business plan and you know what they say about first impressions.  Make it memorable!

Market Analysis & Finances Defined:

Market Analysis: Although it sounds very corporate, a Market Analysis is something many entrepreneurs and social activists do on a daily basis.  

It’s taking a hard, critical and analytical look at the broad environment.  This analysis is, putting into words, many of the observations that you have already made which brought you to the conclusion that there is a need for your enterprise.  The goal is to show that there is a need for what you are offering.

The market analysis is one of the most important parts of any business plan, because it will show a need for what you are offering.  

Although you may have a great idea for harvesting space-berries on Alien planets, currently there is not a market for your product and, as a result, few investors would probably be interested.  But turn your alien space-berry harvester into a harvester that works on mountain-terrain and suddenly you may have investors in mountainous/agrarian countries that may be interested in your product.

In creating your market analysis focus on the size, needs, and trends within your own market, customers, and suppliers.  In the mountain-berry harvester example, you will want to look at the market for harvesting and agriculture equipment, the need for mountain-berry harvesters (customers) and the trends in those areas, as well as the trends and growth of people who make the parts you will be buying to assemble your harvester.  

The willingness to pay/ adapt to a new system is something to examine and can be done through the use of Focus Groups. Focus groups are clusters of people usually ranging from 3-7 that are brought together as a sample for the entire market.  Focus groups have been found to be very effective in predicting the market.

Things to consider:

    • Are there new technological advances in any of those markets that will impact your enterprise?
    • Are there outside factors to consider?  Is Oprah promoting eating mountain-berries?
  • Are there competitors or allies to consider?  What are their operating profits?  How are they running their businesses?

Finances: Another corporate sounding term, but very necessary to clearly communicate your enterprise idea to investors.  There are three major financial statements you should know how to create and update throughout running your social-enterprise.  Consider picking up a book on basic business finance or using a program like Freshbooks or Quickbooks to help you.  

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, as there are numerous resources available to help you construct these statements, but a basic overview is:

    • Balance Sheet: This shows that what you have (Assets) = What you owe (Liabilities) + What you own (Equity)
      • Statement of Cash Flows: This statement shows where your cash came from during a period of time.
    • Income Statement: This shows your income and expenses in a given period of time.

When creating these statements, it’s important to document and research where your figures are coming from.  If you haven’t started your enterprise yet, you will be estimating many of these figures.  This is the strength of starting a social enterprise, most other social enterprises will see you as an ally against corporate and non-social entities and will be more than willing to help you out.  Look for social enterprises which are doing similar work in similar areas and ask about their finances.

What you should remember when creating these financial statements is the triple bottom line of a social enterprise1.  The triple bottom line was a term coined to express the way a social enterprises measures profitability.  Rather than just an accounting bottom line (Revenue – Expenses = Profit) it adds two more items or lines of expenses.  The environmental value and the social value.  You can read more about this in our Profit & Purpose chapter.

What You Will Need to Get Going.  :  Money, Labor, Space (land, office), Training, Permits

    • If your business idea truly does make the world better and you build a reputation for honesty and integrity then you will attract workers and investors.
    • Partners. What will be the leadership structure of your social enterprise? Will you have partners, investors or be a sole enterprise? Advantages and disadvantages to each.
    • If you are starting with no money or resources then you simply begin by articulating your vision. Every single aspect that needs to be addressed before it becomes a reality.
  • Work out a budget that includes volunteers and donations as well as money.

Sources:

Miscellaneous Material:

 

Getting Started and PREPARED

Mission Statement and goals: Before you think about buying anything, hiring anyone, or marketing make sure you have a clear mission.  What do you want to fix, change, or create that will make the world a better place?  Your mission statement should be broad enough to last the test of time but specific enough to direct your work.  A mission statement of “Make the world better” will always be relevant, but too broad to have any specific actionable goals. Find a healthy medium.

  • What are you actually producing/selling?
  • What do you need? Space, permits, tools, training, etc.
  • How will you turn raw materials or labor into your product or service?
  • How can your product be more sustainable than other products on the market?
  • What are your social responsibilities?
  • What is the bottom-line when you incorporate environmental and social good?
  • How does the product/service fit the owner’s personal mission?

A mission statement should cover three cornerstones; product, customer, and strategy.

  • Product
  • What are you selling?
  • Customer
  • Who are you selling to?
  • May be individuals, other businesses, etc.
  • Strategy
  • How are you going to sell your product to your customers?

Translate the mission into measurable terms.  Objectives are quantifiable statements that include short, intermediate, and long-term time frames. Examples include:

  • Increase sales by 30% in the next year through value added markets
  • Adapt technology to reduce labor cost by 25% in the next five years
  • Increase production by 40% in the next three years
  • Implement a new product/service that addresses another social issue within the next year

Business goals and be categorized into long-term DRIVE and short-term SMART goals.

  • Long-term goals
  • Directional
  • Shows where your business is going
  • Realisitc
  • Can you accomplish it?
  • Inspirational
  • Is it a “stretch” goal? Are you going for something greater?
  • Visible
  • Like measurable, but with less rigor
  • Encompassing
  • Whole business, not just one segment
  • Short-term goals
  • Specific
  • Something you can act on
  • Measurable
  • Actual quantifiable number
  • Attainable
  • Can you accomplish it?
  • Like realistic in DRIVE
  • Rewarding
  • Is it a “stretch” goal? Are you going forsomething greater?
  • Like inspirational in DRIVE
  • Timed
  • Date when it is evaluated

Create a business plan!  Even if the idea is crystal clear in your head, writing it down and putting it into a structure will help with three things: First, it will further help develop the idea.  Second, it will breakdown the larger project into manageable portions.  And finally, it will give you a concise and tangible synopsis of your business idea to show to lenders and prospective investors.

“But I don’t have an MBA!  I never went to business school!”  No worries, a business plan is your idea put into a simple, strategic structure.  There are numerous tools online; such as this template from the Small Business Association : SBA Business Plan Template.

It’s also good to keep your Business Plan concise but informational; not only will this help you organize your idea but it is also what you would show to banks or other lending institutions if you need to get a loan or investment support.  A little showmanship can definitely aid in this area, graphs and financial projections are a must.  The idea is to find a balance between marketing your idea to help you get a loan and being realistic so that you can actually back up your idea too!  You want the loan officer to believe in your idea, but also to know that this is a smart financial investment for the bank or investor.

This is our guide to get you started on your C.A.F.E. Enterprise Business Plan!

  • The Problem & the Opportunity: What is the problem that you are passionate about? What idea do you have to solve this problem & make a living from it?
  • Your Mission: What do you wish to achieve in the long run by creating this product or service? (Must be memorable, manageable, measurable, motivational)
  • Theory of Change: What actions & resources will you use to achieve the results that you would like to accomplish? Convert your theory to action (your solution to the problem)
  • Product Description: Describe your product or service.  Be concise but detailed, you want someone to read your description and have a complete understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.  This section should include relevant details about sourcing parts, labor, or knowledge.  A key aspect to the product/service description should be what makes you unique.
  • Your Team: Who will help you execute your business plan?(what kind of skills and expertise will they need)
  • Context: What approaches have already been attempted to solve the problem? Who are you ‘competing’ against? Why will your approach solve the problem more effectively? What makes your product or service unique?
  • Scaling Strategy: How will you grow to maximize your business impact on society?
  • Market Analysis: Who are you trying to appeal to? Can you expand this market?  Does the market have a disposable income and a willingness to purchase your product/ service?  How are you going to appeal to your market?   How will you assess the effectiveness in achieving your mission?
  • Risks: What risks are you taking by creating this product or service?
  • Financial Plan: How will you finance your business plan? What strategy will you use?

The last part of your business plan is arguably the most important, it should be done last but shown first.  This is your executive summary.  It is a short (one or two pages max) summary of your entire business plan.  Someone should be able to read just your executive summary and have a strong working knowledge of your plans.  It is also your pitch.  This is the first item viewed on your business plan and you know what they say about first impressions.  Make it memorable!

Market Analysis & Finances Defined:

Market Analysis: Although it sounds very corporate, a Market Analysis is something many entrepreneurs and social activists do on a daily basis.  It’s taking a hard, critical and analytical look at the broad environment.  This analysis is, putting into words, many of the observations that you have already made which brought you to the conclusion that there is a need for your enterprise.  The goal is to show that there is a need for what you are offering.

The market analysis is one of the most important parts of any business plan, because it will show a need for what you are offering.  Although you may have a great idea for harvesting space-berries on Alien planets, currently there is not a market for your product and, as a result, few investors would probably be interested.  But turn your alien space-berry harvester into a harvester that works on mountain-terrain and suddenly you may have investors in mountainous/agrarian countries that may be interested in your product.

In creating your market analysis focus on the size, needs, and trends within your own market, customers, and suppliers.  In the mountain-berry harvester example, you will want to look at the market for harvesting and agriculture equipment, the need for mountain-berry harvesters (customers) and the trends in those areas, as well as the trends and growth of people who make the parts you will be buying to assemble your harvester.

The willingness to pay/ adapt to a new system is something to examine and can be done through the use of Focus Groups. Focus groups are clusters of people usually ranging from 3-7 that are brought together as a sample for the entire market.  Focus groups have been found to be very effective in predicting the market.

Things to consider:

  • Are there new technological advances in any of those markets that will impact your enterprise?
  • Are there outside factors to consider?  Is Oprah promoting eating mountain-berries?
  • Are there competitors or allies to consider?  What are their operating profits?  How are they running their businesses?

Finances: Another corporate sounding term, but very necessary to clearly communicate your enterprise idea to investors.  There are three major financial statements you should know how to create and update throughout running your social-enterprise.  Consider picking up a book on basic business finance or using a program like Freshbooks or Quickbooks to help you.  There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, as there are numerous resources available to help you construct these statements, but a basic overview is:

Balance Sheet: This shows that what you have (Assets) = What you owe (Liabilities) + What you own (Equity)

Statement of Cash Flows: This statement shows where your cash came from during a period of time.

Income Statement: This shows your income and expenses in a given period of time.

When creating these statements, it’s important to document and research where your figures are coming from.  If you haven’t started your enterprise yet, you will be estimating many of these figures.  This is the strength of starting a social enterprise, most other social enterprises will see you as an ally against corporate and non-social entities and will be more than willing to help you out.  Look for social enterprises which are doing similar work in similar areas and ask about their finances

What you should remember when creating these financial statements is the triple bottom line of a social enterprise1.  The triple bottom line was a term coined to express the way a social enterprises measures profitability.  Rather than just an accounting bottom line (Revenue – Expenses = Profit) it adds two more items or lines of expenses.  The environmental value and the social value.  You can read more about this in our Profit & Purpose chapter.

What You Will Need to Get Going.  :  Money, Labor, Space (land, office), Training, Permits

  • “But I don’t have any money”. If your business idea truly does make the world better and you build a reputation for honesty and integrity then you will attract workers and investors.
  • Partners. What will be the leadership structure of your social enterprise? Will you have partners, investors or be a sole enterprise? Advantages and disadvantages to each.
  • If you are starting with no money or resources then you simply begin by articulating your vision. Every single aspect that needs to be addressed before it becomes a reality.
  • Work out a budget that includes volunteers and donations as well as money.
  • Funding. If your cause is just and your social enterprise really works you will create a business plan and attract funding, loans or investors. Crowd fund sites are one of the most exciting ways to fund a Social Enterprise. Funding sites like KissKissBankBank, Kiva, Kickstarter and Indiegogo force you to articulate your cause and receive both free feedback AND funding!

The Best Time to Start a Business

Modern technology makes it easier to start, manager and grow a social enterprise quicker than at any other time in human history.

Technology allows for freedom to pursue your dreams. You can research any subject possible to almost any depth simply by googling it! This celestial encyclopedia is available at the touch of your fingertips at any place and any time once you are connected to the volunteeret.

You can do almost all the research for your enterprise whilst having a full-time ‘normal’ job. Computers allow you to prepare in an organized manner your entire social enterprise plan.

CURRENT TECHNOLOGY: Innovations that can Help to Make Your Vision Possible

  • It is now possible for an Activist Entrepreneur to run their business from any computer or smart phone from anywhere in the world!
  • Your website instantly connects you to the world and articulates your cause and message.
  • Social media allows you to cultivate a following of customers who you can directly communicate with regarding your product/service/issue.
  • Merchant accounts and payment options are easier to set up and accessible online any time of the day from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • You can share documents and collaborate online with others from anywhere in the world

NEW ADVANCES: Stay on the Pulse of What’s Happening

  • New technologies emerging every day that will affect your enterprise.
  • Find new ways to improve your business through new innovations.
  • Using a new technology in a new way might be a new solution to your business.
  • Multiple streams of income, be inspired by new causes and act on them because your hope is that the cause will no longer be an issue and you will work yourself out of a job. It keeps you fresh, young, thinking.

ting Started and PREPARED

Mission Statement and goals: Before you think about buying anything, hiring anyone, or marketing make sure you have a clear mission.  What do you want to fix, change, or create that will make the world a better place?  Your mission statement should be broad enough to last the test of time but specific enough to direct your work.  A mission statement of “Make the world better” will always be relevant, but too broad to have any specific actionable goals. Find a healthy medium.

    • What are you actually producing/selling?
    • What do you need? Space, permits, tools, training, etc.
    • How will you turn raw materials or labor into your product or service?
    • How can your product be more sustainable than other products on the market?
    • What are your social responsibilities?
    • What is the bottom-line when you incorporate environmental and social good?
  • How does the product/service fit the owner’s personal mission?

A mission statement should cover three cornerstones; product, customer, and strategy.

    1. Product
      • What are you selling?
    1. Customer
      • Who are you selling to?
        • May be individuals, other businesses, etc.
  1. Strategy
    • How are you going to sell your product to your customers?

Translate the mission into measurable terms.  Objectives are quantifiable statements that include short, intermediate, and long-term time frames. Examples include:

    • Increase sales by 30% in the next year through value added markets
    • Adapt technology to reduce labor cost by 25% in the next five years
    • Increase production by 40% in the next three years
  • Implement a new product/service that addresses another social issue within the next year

Business goals and be categorized into long-term DRIVE and short-term SMART goals.

    • Long-term goals
        • Directional
          • Shows where your business is going
        • Realisitc
          • Can you accomplish it?
        • Inspirational
          • Is it a “stretch” goal? Are you going for something greater?
        • Visible
          • Like measurable, but with less rigor
      • Encompassing
        • Whole business, not just one segment
  • Short-term goals
      • Specific
        • Something you can act on
      • Measurable
        • Actual quantifiable number
      • Attainable
        • Can you accomplish it?
          • Like realistic in DRIVE
      • Rewarding
        • Is it a “stretch” goal? Are you going forsomething greater?
          • Like inspirational in DRIVE
    • Timed
      • Date when it is evaluated

Create a business plan!  Even if the idea is crystal clear in your head, writing it down and putting it into a structure will help with three things: First, it will further help develop the idea.  Second, it will breakdown the larger project into manageable portions.  And finally, it will give you a concise and tangible synopsis of your business idea to show to lenders and prospective investors.

“But I don’t have an MBA!  I never went to business school!”  No worries, a business plan is your idea put into a simple, strategic structure.  There are numerous tools online; such as this template from the Small Business Association : SBA Business Plan Template.

It’s also good to keep your Business Plan concise but informational; not only will this help you organize your idea but it is also what you would show to banks or other lending institutions if you need to get a loan or investment support.  A little showmanship can definitely aid in this area, graphs and financial projections are a must.  The idea is to find a balance between marketing your idea to help you get a loan and being realistic so that you can actually back up your idea too!  You want the loan officer to believe in your idea, but also to know that this is a smart financial investment for the bank or investor.

This is our guide to get you started on your C.A.F.E. Enterprise Business Plan!

    1. The Problem & the Opportunity: What is the problem that you are passionate about? What idea do you have to solve this problem & make a living from it?
    1. Your Mission: What do you wish to achieve in the long run by creating this product or service? (Must be memorable, manageable, measurable, motivational)
    1. Theory of Change: What actions & resources will you use to achieve the results that you would like to accomplish? Convert your theory to action (your solution to the problem)
    1. Product Description: Describe your product or service.  Be concise but detailed, you want someone to read your description and have a complete understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.  This section should include relevant details about sourcing parts, labor, or knowledge.  A key aspect to the product/service description should be what makes you unique.
    1. Your Team: Who will help you execute your business plan?(what kind of skills and expertise will they need)
    1. Context: What approaches have already been attempted to solve the problem? Who are you ‘competing’ against? Why will your approach solve the problem more effectively? What makes your product or service unique?
    1. Scaling Strategy: How will you grow to maximize your business impact on society?
    1. Market Analysis: Who are you trying to appeal to? Can you expand this market?  Does the market have a disposable income and a willingness to purchase your product/ service?  How are you going to appeal to your market?   How will you assess the effectiveness in achieving your mission?
    1. Risks: What risks are you taking by creating this product or service?
  1. Financial Plan: How will you finance your business plan? What strategy will you use?

The last part of your business plan is arguably the most important, it should be done last but shown first.  This is your executive summary.  It is a short (one or two pages max) summary of your entire business plan.  Someone should be able to read just your executive summary andhave a strong working knowledge of your plans.  It is also your pitch.  This is the first item viewed on your business plan and you know what they say about first impressions.  Make it memorable!

Market Analysis & Finances Defined:

Market Analysis: Although it sounds very corporate, a Market Analysis is something many entrepreneurs and social activists do on a daily basis.  It’s taking a hard, critical and analytical look at the broad environment.  This analysis is, putting into words, many of the observations that you have already made which brought you to the conclusion that there is a need for your enterprise.  The goal is to show that there is a need for what you are offering.

The market analysis is one of the most important parts of any business plan, because it will show a need for what you are offering.  Although you may have a great idea for harvesting space-berries on Alien planets, currently there is not a market for your product and, as a result, few investors would probably be interested.  But turn your alien space-berry harvester into a harvester that works on mountain-terrain and suddenly you may have investors in mountainous/agrarian countries that may be interested in your product.

In creating your market analysis focus on the size, needs, and trends within your own market, customers, and suppliers.  In the mountain-berry harvester example, you will want to look at the market for harvesting and agriculture equipment, the need for mountain-berry harvesters (customers) and the trends in those areas, as well as the trends and growth of people who make the parts you will be buying to assemble your harvester.  

The willingness to pay/ adapt to a new system is something to examine and can be done through the use of Focus Groups. Focus groups are clusters of people usually ranging from 3-7 that are brought together as a sample for the entire market.  Focus groups have been found to be very effective in predicting the market.

Things to consider:

    • Are there new technological advances in any of those markets that will impact your enterprise?
    • Are there outside factors to consider?  Is Oprah promoting eating mountain-berries?
  • Are there competitors or allies to consider?  What are their operating profits?  How are they running their businesses?

Finances: Another corporate sounding term, but very necessary to clearly communicate your enterprise idea to investors.  There are three major financial statements you should know how to create and update throughout running your social-enterprise.  Consider picking up a book on basic business finance or using a program like Freshbooks or Quickbooks to help you.  There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, as there are numerous resources available to help you construct these statements, but a basic overview is:

Balance Sheet: This shows that what you have (Assets) = What you owe (Liabilities) + What you own (Equity)

Statement of Cash Flows: This statement shows where your cash came from during a period of time.

Income Statement: This shows your income and expenses in a given period of time.

When creating these statements, it’s important to document and research where your figures are coming from.  If you haven’t started your enterprise yet, you will be estimating many of these figures.  This is the strength of starting a social enterprise, most other social enterprises will see you as an ally against corporate and non-social entities and will be more than willing to help you out.  Look for social enterprises which are doing similar work in similar areas and ask about their finances

What you should remember when creating these financial statements is the triple bottom line of a social enterprise1.  The triple bottom line was a term coined to express the way a social enterprises measures profitability.  Rather than just an accounting bottom line (Revenue – Expenses = Profit) it adds two more items or lines of expenses.  The environmental value and the social value.  You can read more about this in our Profit & Purpose chapter.

What You Will Need to Get Going.  :  Money, Labor, Space (land, office), Training, Permits

      • “But I don’t have any money”. If your business idea truly does make the world better and you build a reputation for honesty and integrity then you will attract workers and investors.
      • Partners. What will be the leadership structure of your social enterprise? Will you have partners, investors or be a sole enterprise? Advantages and disadvantages to each.
      • If you are starting with no money or resources then you simply begin by articulating your vision. Every single aspect that needs to be addressed before it becomes a reality.
      • Work out a budget that includes volunteers and donations as well as money.
    • Funding. If your cause is just and your social enterprise really works you will create a business plan and attract funding, loans or investors. Crowd fund sites are one of the most exciting ways to fund a Social Enterprise. Funding sites like KissKissBankBank, Kiva, Kickstarter and Indiegogo force you to articulate your cause and receive both free feedback AND funding!

The Best Time to Start a Business

Modern technology makes it easier to start, manager and grow a social enterprise quicker than at any other time in human history.

Technology allows for freedom to pursue your dreams. You can research any subject possible to almost any depth simply by googling it! This celestial encyclopedia is available at the touch of your fingertips at any place and any time once you are connected to the volunteeret.

You can do almost all the research for your enterprise whilst having a full-time ‘normal’ job. Computers allow you to prepare in an organized manner your entire social enterprise plan.

CURRENT TECHNOLOGY: Innovations that can Help to Make Your Vision Possible

    • It is now possible for an Activist Entrepreneur to run their business from any computer or smart phone from anywhere in the world!
    • Your website instantly connects you to the world and articulates your cause and message.
    • Social media allows you to cultivate a following of customers who you can directly communicate with regarding your product/service/issue.
    • Merchant accounts and payment options are easier to set up and accessible online any time of the day from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • You can share documents and collaborate online with others from anywhere in the world

NEW ADVANCES: Stay on the Pulse of What’s Happening

    • New technologies emerging every day that will affect your enterprise.
    • Find new ways to improve your business through new innovations.
    • Using a new technology in a new way might be a new solution to your business.
  • Multiple streams of income, be inspired by new causes and act on them because your hope is that the cause will no longer be an issue and you will work yourself out of a job. It keeps you fresh, young, thinking.