Can you make money, cure social problems and respect the planet all at the same time?
Several busy bees think you can, and are running workshops on social entrepreneurship under the brand name Hive on October 13 and 14. Hive seeks to "pollinate ethical business." It launched last year, and this year has helped connect small start-up businesses in art, environment, food, education and advertising. Its mission is to bring together social entrepreneurs to develop sustainable businesses. It now has its own online magazine, Hive, to be updated monthly and published quarterly on paper. The first print issue of Hive launched this month.
So what, exactly, is a social entrepreneur? It's someone who "bridges the gap between the efficiency of the corporate sector and the intentions of the non-profit sector," says the Hive magazine, created by SallyAnn Dalla Costa and Melvina Hazard.
Social entrepreneurs are individuals who find out what's not working, and seek out new, better ways of doing it, without waiting on government handouts. They are often small business owners who want to make more than just a dollar, they want to help people, "create social value" and improve the world.
"While a business entrepreneur might create entirely new industries, a social entrepreneur develops innovative solutions to social problems and then implements them on a large scale," explains Ashoka, one of the largest networks of social entrepreneurs worldwide which has provided start-up funding and professional support services in more than 70 countries. Ashoka was set up in 1980 by Bill Drayton.
Hive is a small, T&T version of this, and is linked to Dalla Costa's firm The Sustainability Platform, which she runs from her current home base in Dubai. She is in T&T now to help raise the buzz about Hive activities. Dalla Costa's Sustainability Platform will be giving workshops on social impact measurement next week, alongside other presentations.
The first Hive magazine issueincludes stories on:
�2 Christine Souffrant: She is an award-winning Haitian-American small business owner. She began by selling Haitian street art in Manhattam, NY flea markets. She then opened a boutique shop (supporting her entire family, and the families of eight other street vendors). After the 2010 earthquake, she rebooted her idea to an online sales platform whose goal is to support the vendors and help them rise above poverty with mentorship, financial training and a global consumer base (see http://vendedinternational.wordpress.com).
�2 Racked: Local fashion and crafts event (next on is on Nov 9). Founders include Emma Hiscock and Ain Earle.
�2 Marielle Barrow: She helps organise art-based workshops, performances and discussions, and publishes Caribbean In Transit magazine.
�2 Jeunanne Alkins: She is creative director of Everything Slight Pepper, which makes locally inspired designs for children's clothes. She's also creating a book set and an animation series for young children.
�2 Financing: How to use partnerships, philanthropic groups and social cause competitions to fund your idea.
�2 The AgroCentral App: Conceived by young Jamaican entrepreneurs Jermaine Henry, Janice McLeod and Adrian Thompson. The app digitally connects farmers and co-ops selling produce with buyers such as restaurants. According to Patti-Anne Ali's story in Hive magazine, users can "find the locations of farmers, buyers, prevailing crop prices and data on diseases and weather conditions–all available in one place, in real time."
�2 Warren Cassell Jr: Talks about impact investing by the private sector.
�2 For a taste on the kind of people getting involved in Hive, see their magazine or check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/socialenterprisehive
VENUE: Lok Jak Business School.
10 am: Talk by Denise Demming on charity, social justice, systems change and social innovation.
11 am: Talk by 15-year-old whiz kid Warren Cassel Jr from Montserrat on what investors look for in a start-up.
6 pm: Discussion on incubating T&T's next generation of business leaders, panel includes the Branson Cete, IDBIS, Start-Up Weekend, YBTT, Lok Jak Biz Booster, Christinee Souffrant and Anthony Hadeed.
VENUE: John D UTT campus.
9 am: Replace your business plan with a start-up canvas, by Marielle Barrow of Caribbean in Transit (USA).
1 pm: Coding for dummies with robots by Daniel Ringis (T&T).
2 pm: Global case studies in designing for good by Tena Pick (Dubai).
7 - 9 pm: At Napa theatre: UTT animation students feature their one-minute protest animation in the closing ceremony.
Contact: socialenterprisehive.com or call 868-341-1885.