There are many reasons why one social enterprise grows fast, while another one doesn’t. Frankly, I think luck has a lot to do with it, but there are many other factors as well. A recent article in the Guardian suggests that the attitude of the leader is the most critical ingredient, and that’s hard to challenge.
Its findings are based on a national competition in the UK to find the most ambitious social entrepreneurs, and analyze their path to scale.
The article goes on to say that: “We believe the journey to scale – like any great journey – requires a robust vehicle (the social venture), a fearless and skilled pilot (the social entrepreneur), a well mapped-out route (the growth plan) and plenty of fuel (the growth capital).”
Another compelling point from the article: “We are clearly seeing that those entrepreneurs who are best at building strong networks in their sector are moving faster than those with an insular approach. Our conclusion is that networks increase an entrepreneur’s profile, can attract individuals with experience and expertise to the board or management team and can lead to powerful partnerships. All of which, in turn, lead to further introductions to more influential people – a virtuous circle. We have also noticed that the most successful social entrepreneurs are often insiders who have a deep knowledge of a particular industry, market, community or social problem which enables them to have a deep insight into creating social value through innovation.”
So there you have it. Build your venture as you would a great journey, with a well-connected industry insider, and build strong networks to help you on that journey. All great points, I would say.