What’s your 2018 New Year’s resolution? Not sure yet? Well, here’s your chance to start something great, 2018 is just around the corner and this time you might even stick with it.

You don’t need to delve too deeply into the research that highlights the reasons why startups fail; lack of capital including funding, resources and customer base, lack of business experience and limited or no mentoring to support you on your journey. It’s an uphill climb to the top and often, unfortunately, many don’t make it to the top.

Although it’s tricky business, it’s not all doom and gloom, in fact starting a social enterprise can be a rewarding experience for yourself and the wider community, beyond your expectations.

The key to your success is planning, understanding and patience, being ready for anything, with the support around you to build your project from start up.

In case you don’t already fully understand the concept of a social enterprise, it’s a business that’s core focus is around creating positive social change. Often a startup is led by an entrepreneur with the goal and/or purpose to generate revenue; however it will always fall back onto making a positive impact to the world we live in. These social enterprises can be game-changers, the impact and influence can lead to positive change to a wider community, possibly, without the community even noticing.

Unfortunately our society has gone too far the wrong way. The strain we put onto our environment, the lack of social awareness we have for people in need, the financial choices we feel we need to make to build a better future for our families. These are some of the factors that contribute to a pressurised society that needs to stop for air, clean air.

There’s always a risk. You might fall flat on your face and fail the first time and that’s ok. Learn from it and start again, take small steps, do your research, plan and start getting the tools in place to begin your startup. Talk to people, collaborate, communicate, and invest your time into planning how you’re going to make this a successful enterprise. Determination and motivation are excellent qualities to have and will keep you going for the short term, but long term, you need a sustainable plan to guide you through the process of building a business for change.

Plan hard. Plan as if you’re planning to take over the world; workshop with your peers, create vision boards, research your target audience, talk to people, investors, mentors, friends, colleagues.

Map out a business plan, leave nothing untouched and then, then move into the next phase, get your idea off the ground and make it into a reality.

2018 is looking good for social enterprises, with the new permanent changes to investors supporting startups with a more favourable approach to funding (read more here).

Alongside this change, as recently as September (2017), social enterprises are eligible to raise up to $5 million from crowdfunding in any one year. Under the new changes, private companies that want to access equity crowdfunding will no longer have to convert to a public entity. Startups will now have the flexibility to grow their business with broader access to funds.

Do you have an idea that will make a positive impact? Are you ready to be the next social enterprise? You might even be the entrepreneur to influence and create change for those that don’t even know they’re doing it. 2018 can be your year to step up and do good, creating a better future for tomorrow and beyond.

 Applications close 5th January 2018.

Applications close 5th January 2018.

Apply now for 2018 Capacity Building Programs here:

About the author: Geoff Gourley is a recognised global social entrepreneur and impact investor, founder and chairman of Impact Investment Fund and One10. In his spare time he enjoys writing about impact, social enterprise and innovation. @geoffgourley

Geoff Gourley  |   |  @geoffgourley

Geoff Gourley is the founder and chairman of Impact Investment Fund and One10.