Ever thought about starting a social enterprise at your church/organization?
Here are 5 quick tips of what we’ve learned along the way:
#1 Charitable Status
Ensure that however you set up your social enterprise within a church or organization, it fits within the bounds of your non-profit or charitable status. There are legal pieces involved in this that you must fit within and you probably want documentation to prove it.
#2 Do you have a “Champion”?
Starting a social enterprise is equally a social mission AND a business venture. Do you have an entrepreneurial-minded person on board to run the overarching initiative? Running a social enterprise is not like running a program if your bottom line relies on sales income and sometimes (ok…lots of times!) you need to hustle to make that happen.
# 3. Want to make food?
Food safety is a huge field. From public health inspections, to microbiology and shelf life testing, this is a hazard that you want to have a firm grip on before you sell your product.
#4. Do your market research.
Ok….I admit, we probably DIDN’T do enough of this when we first started. It’s helpful to know what else is on the market – and their price point – because if the market is flooded with smoothie makers, you probably don’t want to be the next business doing the exact same thing.
#5. Have a great product.
People are NOT going to continue purchasing your product over the long term if it isn’t a good product. We started by making soup and we are darn proud of the soups we make. People might purchase the first time because they like our social mission and impact, but they CONTINUE to purchase our soup because our staff make amazing soup!