Author: solfinderblog

A Social Entrepreneurship Project Launch by the H and M

The H and M Group has gone ahead to launch a new project which is a social entrepreneurship project. Through this project, the Group is planning to engage with social entrepreneurs far and wide but specifically in developing countries. These entrepreneurs with whom they are going to work should have their primary goal of initiating, implementing and bringing a positive impact on their local communities.

H and M group is doing this in collaboration with a global no-profit Nest. The main mission of this project is going to include a mission statement that contains several parts. They aim at building a very new but “hard worker” economy that is will work to bring on board global inclusivity of the workforce. In the mission statement, the project is also aimed at improving the well-being of women and girls beyond factories. Lastly, the project also is purposed to ensure the preservation of and passing on of cultural traditions of crafts from one generation to the other.

To achieve this, this Swedish firm that deals with fashion is going to introduce using its different ranges many products from their businesses that are sprouting all over across nations that are developing. This will help a big way in providing financial support in regions that are struggling financially.

By implementing this project, H and M Group is bound to achieve alongside four of the UN sustainable goals. These goals include the first goal which is aimed at eradication of poverty, the fifth goal that is to achieve gender equality, the eighth goal which is to ensure decent work and economic growth for each country and the tenth goal which is on ensuring reduce inequalities.




Sharan Pasricha and His Journey in Entrepreneurship

Sharan Pasricha who grew up in Mumbai, India and is now the boss of the boutique hotel group Ennismore had his first entrepreneurialism when he was just six years old. In his first year of primary school, he started selling the sandwiches that his mum made for him to his schoolmates.

According to Sharan, he was making a good profit and later decided to ask his mum to make more sandwiches for lunch. However, everything went well until he started getting greedy and doubled the price for hos sandwiches. Later on, during a school event, a parent approached his mother and complained about the increasing amount of the sandwich.

His first professional taste of entrepreneurship came when he was 22 when he co-founded a UK-based Rush Media. This was a student media and marketing agency which he had for three years after leaving university in London. The spirit of entrepreneurship caught the attention of an uncle in Delhi who asked Sharan to come back to India and take over his leather garment business.

According to Sharan, the business was callous. He was only 25 running an organization of 300 people in the manufacturing industry. Nonetheless, he got to learn more about sales, finance, margins, supply chains and people skills. Despite lacking the experience, he improved the business making the sales and profits to escalate.

After three years, he quit the job to study for masters of business administration qualification at London Business School as he was also doing an internship at the private equity firm Better Capital. It was at this point that he worked on investments in hotels and student accommodation, which he discovered was his true calling. He said that hotels are an interesting intersection of neighborhood, design, community, food and drink and operations which he was passionate about.



Primary Students Win Entrepreneur Award from Their Chatterbox Idea

Some young people in the county of Tyrone noticed that chatting had become a massive problem amongst people. According to Yasmine from St Mary’s Primary School in Lisbuoy, a good number of people ignore other human beings and keep staring at their screens. She said that they wanted to bring the conversation back, which was necessary before everyone got consumed with their phones and forgot about friends and family.

With the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) and combating social isolation in mind, a 14 strong class thought of an idea of 31 small cards with two suggestions of conversational topics on each side. Their Chatterbox idea won the backing of their own Dragons’ Den-style panel made up of the local business people and teachers.

According to a primary seven teacher, Caryn Girvan, the children were very keen to run with it on the premise that ipads, phones, tablets were being used too much in homes and outside. The school has 77 pupils with 14 of them in primary seven. They were inspired by the school’s first venture into the JEP last year.

According to the school principal, Martina Martin, last year, they were invited to the showcase day, which meant that they were nominated for an award. She said that the same happened this year, 220 schools out of more than 700. The principal said that to find out that they were nominated for four awards and then successful in the community champions was indeed unbelievable.

The cards had a good sell, generating more than £500. Each child was able to get an £18 profit after the expenses were deducted. Also, the school board of governors treated them to a day out, and they each spent £3 on sweets and toys, keeping the rest of the money in their pockets. This experience motivated nine of the fourteen students to venture into business themselves.



Foreigners and Japanese Entrepreneurs Prefer Fukuoka

Fukuoka, a cosmopolitan port city which is a short ferry ride from South Korea’s Busan, has long been serving as an Asian gateway to Japan. It has also been one of the leading cities of southern Japan and has emerged as a powerful startup hub which is changing the Japanese economy.

Fukuoka City was designated as one of Japan’s National Strategic Special Zones in 2014, and it rapidly started reinventing itself into a place for global startups and job creation. New ideas and deregulation policies were placed to attract both Japanese and Foreign entrepreneurs, for instance,  in the following year, Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau was the first entity in Japan to begin offering short term Business Manager Visas called Startup Visas.

Foreigners who started a business in Fukuoka zone were exempted for six months from the usual Business Manager Visa regulation of requiring a 5 million yen in capital, starting a business office and hiring two or more permanent employees.

According to Penny Chen, an official with Golface, a Fukuoka based golfing firm established by Taiwan’s Green Jacket Sports in 2017, to enter the Japanese market, the Startup Visa was such a significant challenge. With almost 2,300 golf courses, Japan is one of the largest golf markets globally. After developing the Golface, the company partnered with a local travel agency to bring Taiwanese golfers to Japanese links.

The company’s Smart Golf Cart System helps to get the most out of every hole by giving course data and tips; a Japanese golf course is presently implementing it, opening more business opportunities.

Chen added that Fukuoka is quite supportive in helping Foreigners who do not know any Japanese in the application of the Startup Visas. She said that the visa was issued in no time and they were able to have enough time to appropriately go through the pre-work like establishing the company, opening a bank account and renting office space.



Shoko Takahashi Selected as One of the Young Global Leaders

The World Economic Forum annually selects 100 of the world’s most promising business leaders, artists, public servants, social entrepreneurs and scientists as Young Global Leaders. The chosen people then join a five-year program which will challenge them to think beyond their scope of expertise and to become more critical leaders.

Genequest Inc. CEO Shoko Takahashi was one of the Japanese entrepreneurs selected and named as YGLs. Takahashi was chosen for creating a startup company which provides individuals with comprehensive information about their genome.

The company is the first in Japan to provide genome-wide human genetic testing services for individuals. She established Genequest in June 2013 while she was researching her doctorate on the Human genome and now runs the company not only as a short term business but also as a long term research vehicle.

As much as there are other companies in Japan providing the same services on human genome information as well as those looking to commercialize genome-analyzing technology? However, they tend to limit themselves to, for instance, the obesity-related genome which does not need much investment and is in high demand among the general public.

According to Takahashi, she found the significance of using the genome data they collect. She said that they are different from their competitors since they focus on research. According to her, collecting more data speeds up research, and it is essential in creating medicine for the world. She also said that there is so much which is unknown about human genomes, and learning about them could potentially lead to huge breakthroughs in medicine.

Takahashi, who obtained her PhD from the University of Tokyo in March 2015 has succeeded in making comprehensive human genome analysis affordable for the rest of the public as she only charges ¥29,800. Initially, the price was ¥50,000, but with the advancement in technology, the costs were able to be decreased.



Articles That All Social Entrepreneurs Should Read

Albert Einstein once said that learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it. This precise quote describes the maxim that people should live by, always keep learning despite the number of years of social enterprise experience you have obtained. No matter how many social enterprise programs you have completed or social ventures you may have found, there will always be something new to learn.

Social entrepreneurs need to be flexible and adaptable and lead by example. Successful social entrepreneurs keep learning, growing, and focusing on creating an environment where their enterprise, customers, teams, and beneficiaries can flourish. The demands of the world make it tough for social entrepreneurship to find time to stay ahead of the learning game.

There are some articles which are recommended for aspiring social entrepreneurs that will be helpful during their journey. One is an article by Kate Rodriguez, Why Social Entrepreneurs Are Taking the Lead. In 2003, social entrepreneurship received a public boost when a group of NGO heads was invited to the very first social entrepreneurs’ session at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The idea was embraced since then by governments, businesses, and non-profits, resulting in a breed of socially-conscious business models and the rise in the demand of leaders who steer innovation along these lines.

The next article is one by Jean Case; 6 Questions To Ask Before You Start a Social Enterprise. Companies which have a mission of turning to a profit and do good, they have a different set of questions when they are about to start. This article presents the six most essential questions to ask if you want to be a for-profit social enterprise.

The poor are not the raw material for your salvation by Liam Black gives a warning on those who let ego cloud their social and business judgment. The article argues that developing a cadre of heroic individuals tends to have unintended consequences and may lead to questionable decisions.



Eco-Soap Raises the Bar on Social Entrepreneurship

Samir Lakhani has in less than five years, improved hygiene for more than 1.1 million people, and created jobs for women in the developing countries with his global nonprofit Eco-Soap Bank. Lakhani’s company collects gently used soaps from hotels, sanitizes then and processes them into new bars distributed to hospitals, schools, and villages in developing nations.

In his work, Lakhani, who is an alumnus of Environmental studies, has managed to keep tons of soap out of landfills. This has to lead to job creation for 147 disadvantaged women and also saving lives through the provision of soap and hygiene education for growing numbers of 2.5 billion people globally who do not have access to adequate sanitation.

His sustainable-minded humanitarian project was placed on the spotlight when he was named among the ten everyday people changing the world in CNN Hero of the Year award tribute in 2017. According to Lakhani, after CNN, they got a lot of positive feedback and support. Moreso, Lakhani wishes to achieve more.  Crowdfunding campaign to boost the expansion of labor and production equipment is yet to start.

The Kickstarter started on May 1, reached its $10,000 goal in hours and by halfway to June 1, its completion date; it was already more than 300 percent funded.

The new product known as Project Eco-soap is billed as a zero-waste soap. The product is made from sanitized leftover hotel soap and placed in upcycled hotel linens which can be reused as dish towels. They have three varieties of scent and are named for the countries where Eco-Soap works, i.e., green orange and saffron of Tanzania, tea leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger of Nepal and lemongrass of Cambodia.

Lakhani has plant to hire 45 additional women in those countries to produce more products. Instead of adopting a simple buy-one-give-one model of social enterprise, on purchasing each bar, it enables a donation of 100 bars to children in need.