Top 5 Resources for Young Social Entrepreneurs

December 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm 17 comments

The buzz of social entrepreneurship is on. It inhabits dormitory halls and high schoolers’ texts. It’s well beyond a trend. Social entrepreneurship is a movement.

Well-known leader of the pack Ashoka has the following thought-provoking statement on its website:

Over the past two decades, the citizen sector has discovered what the business sector learned long ago: There is nothing as powerful as a new idea in the hands of a first-class entrepreneur.

Here are some go-to places, in key must-know categories, to keep yourself apprised of developments in the social entrepreneurship field. Will you found the next Tom’s Shoes?
1. Money.  Looking for money for a social venture? You can raise money just as you would for a regular business. Beyond the traditional methods of raising money (self, friends, banks, investors), try the following clearinghouses for additional capital:

See discussion questions at the bottom for additional Entrepreneur in the Classroom resources.

2. Information:  #socent on Twitter will take you to the latest  social entreprenership Twitter stream. You may have to comb through it to see what’s what, but you’ll definitely see what’s new.
3. People. Tracking down and studying the the top social entrepreneurs provides access to instant mentors. Below are dozens of successful social entrepreneurs from which we can all take notes.
  • In 2010 TedxYSE was held by Youth Venture and the Staples Foundation to give the world’s most inspiring young changemakers a platform to share their powerful stories. See their videos here.
  • Future 100 – The Future 100 Awards recognize the success of UK-based young entrepreneurs aged 18-35 who demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and innovation in progressing a responsible business venture.
  • Four Young Social Good Entrepreneurs to Watch (Mashable)
4. Competitions. Competitions are a great way to cement your idea, meet key players, and seal deals.
5. Legal. You know it’s real when legal and policy regulations start changing to meet the social entrepreneurship world.
  • Here is an article on changes in forms of legal incorporation to accomodate social ventures. Are you going to be one of the innovators ahead of the pack ? Be sure to get a great lawyer who is familiar with the forms. There are additional filing requirements, so get smart. With innovation, often come additional responsibilities.
  • Related to “money” – above – crowdfunding at certain levels in the US  is a violation of the Securities Act of 1933. For instance, if you are profitable, or try to give people a share of that profit, it puts you in the same league as a publicly-traded company that sells securities. Follow #crowdfunding on Twitter and keep up with the experts, like Woodie Neiss.

Discussion Questions

1. Developing the social venture idea. In Module 2 of the Entrepreneur in the Classroom free curriculum there is a Mind Mapping exercise in which the student takes and area of interest and develops it into a business idea through brainstorming.  Use the Mind Mapping exercise for a social venture that has “double M” (mission and money).

2. Characteristics of the social entrepreneur. Allow the students to review the entrepreneurial profiles discussed in #3, above, and pick a favorite.  Does the social entrepreneur resemble the traits they would expect of a typical small business person described in Module 1 of the Entrepreneur in the Classroom free curriculum? Yes, no, maybe? Discuss.

3. Watch and discuss the below video on Tom’s Shoes:

More information

Know a Young Entrepreneur? Nominate them here.

The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at  The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.

Related links:

Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter

Follow NFIB on Twitter

Follow blog author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter


Entry filed under: Business exercises, Money, Resources, Young Entrepreneur. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Update: Deadline for Young Entrepreneur Awards Scholarship Now January 4 Mentoring and Reverse Mentoring: The Key to Entrepreneurial Self-Confidence. 10 steps for Parents, Teens, and Gen Y at Work and at Home

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kathy Korman Frey  |  December 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Related to this topic, check out this great tweet from @YWCAUSA:

    What we’re reading: Holiday Volunteering: 5 Amazing Teens Give Back on @HuffingtonPost Inspiring!

  • 2. Kathy Korman Frey  |  December 27, 2011 at 11:53 am

    And for non teens, check this out:

    From: @pcdnetwork

    Call for Nominations, Purpose Prize, for Social Innovators in the Second Half of Life, US #socent

  • 3. Julian Flynn  |  January 9, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Young entrepreneurs could also take advantage of the crowdsourcing trend

    • 4. Kathy Korman Frey (@ChiefHotMomma)  |  January 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Yes. The bill was passed (in reference to #5, above). My 100% go to person is below, because, they literally wrote the legislation:

      Crowdfund Investing
      The entrepreneurs who wrote the Crowdfund Investing framework for the JOBS Act. Follow our path from idea to law to reality!
      Miami Beach, FL ·

  • 5. peter  |  January 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

    this is 1st class stuff. we run a business and provide entrepreneur training and entrepreneur development. i will definately be sharing this article with our members – directing them to this site!

    • 6. kathykormanfrey  |  May 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks Peter, we appreciate it!

  • 7. An Entrepreneur-Kids Holiday Season Discussion Guide «  |  November 24, 2012 at 7:37 pm

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