According to Sarah Holloway, any successful social entrepreneur needs to have empathy as the first and very key skills to succeed in it. However, to get funding, one needs to be able to make well and tell great stories about beautiful ideas is necessary. Sarah has worked in the non-profit and public sector for 25 years. She is a member of the SIPA Faculty and Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the Columbia Startup Lab. She, therefore, possesses very important information that has helped many students she has mentored in this field.
For Sarah, social entrepreneurship simply means the practice that involves solving social challenges globally through the application of market-based strategies. She said that social entrepreneurs are people who empathize with the situation, easily adapt and are patient since their drive is to build wit and not for. Social entrepreneurs also know how to listen to their customers well and they can use technology as a tool which supports growth, enables scale and can greatly enhance transparency.
To work in different cultural settings, it is key for every social entrepreneur to very authentic. By being authentic it means they understand their customers very well. They should either be coming from the same geographical location of the area whose challenge they are trying to solve or they have been able to experience a similar challenge elsewhere.
She emphasized that one of the critical skills a social entrepreneur should have is empathy. Secondly, a social entrepreneur needs to be very passionate about what he or she does. There is a need for them to be scrappy and resilient especially because many times social enterprises are under-resourced.