When it comes on to careers, we have all heard about entrepreneurship- what it means and what it entails. A few of us may know of an entrepreneur or are even entrepreneurs ourselves! Generally coined the “risk takers” of society due to the nature of their work arrangement, an entrepreneur takes the risk of creating his/her own business and in turn enjoys maximum rewards. The question then is, what makes a social entrepreneur different from a regular Entrepreneur? Are they even different? In this edition, we will zoom in on Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profit Management.
Episode 1 of our recently launched, What’s Your Career Video Series features Social Entrepreneur, Lanisia Rhoden who vividly breaks down the term, social entrepreneur. She explains it to be a mixture of non-profit management with business. Currently, she leads the social enterprise, Link Your Purpose which is an online career development platform and business, focused on helping young people achieve their career goals. She mentions that generated revenue/profit will go back into the organization for development and also to her non-profit organization, Young Women and Men of Purpose (YWOP/YMOP) in which she assumes the role of Non-profit Manager, as a way of preserving efforts. Lanisia relies heavily on business principles to successfully run the social enterprise.
Qualities You Must Have to Become a Social Entrepreneur
Naturally, you must be a willing risk taker. Bearing the title of entrepreneur as mentioned above, will mean the inclusion of risks as you create your own opportunities. Leadership is key and as a high schooler, you can develop your leadership skills by engaging in clubs, extra-curricular activities, and taking up leadership positions in school. You must be driven by impact and social change and have a natural desire to help those around you and learn to exercise compassion towards all. Team building and how you relate to others are key areas that will boost efficiency and lastly, you must be persistent. Things will not always go according to plan, but you should always think like a business owner!
How to Become a Social Entrepreneur/ Non- profit Manager
Lanisia mentioned that there is no straight path to this career but she advises taking up a course in Entrepreneurship that will give insight on how to start-up and manage a business. She also encourages people to look out for short courses in Non-profit Management, Development and Entrepreneurship studies. For students at the secondary level, you will need core subjects such as Mathematics, English Language, Business and Accounting. A second language is also important.
Benefits of Being a Social Entrepreneur/Non-profit Manager
The benefits of being a Social Entrepreneur/Non-profit Manager includes the opportunity to meet new people and travel the world. Lanisia, who has travelled to over 16 countries because of her career choice, also emphasized the importance of being a ‘people person’ and possessing a genuine interest in creating change in society which are qualities that will better boost the enjoyment and fulfilment of such a career.
One Challenge Associated With Being a Social Entrepreneur/Non-profit Manager
Founder’s Block. As one can expect, having a start-up business may often mean one person playing all roles within the organization, but as time passes, your team will grow and delegation becomes a must.
Books You Can Read to Grow as a Social Entrepreneur
Meanwhile there is no set approach to this career, you may enjoy books from John Maxwell which are leadership and personal development based. Another good option is Scaling which guides you in the process of starting and growing a business. Start reading books on topics such as how to be organized, planning, books focused on a positive mindset, becoming an entrepreneur and just about any information you can get in general.
Advice for Students
“If you are interested in a career in Social Entrepreneurship or Non-profit, go for it! Be sure to get a mentor. Use the information provided to discover more and begin. Choose subjects that will help you in high school and if you are entering university, look into development and entrepreneurship programmes and most importantly, get experience by volunteering with a Non-profit organization as you study.”- Lanisia Rhoden, Social Entrepreneur and Non-profit Manager.
Watch the full interview below!