A few things social innovators should consider before starting their project

By Servane Mouazan, ceo @ogunte 


At Ogunte, I am working closely with women social entrepreneurs and system designers, but also helpers, advisors, funders and consultants, all eager to contribute to social change.

I hear about the importance of having a clear vision and a plan to reach goals. I hear stories of impact measurement, brainstorming, networking, media campaign, and more. You have probably googled the whole list of ingredients you need to bring your project to life. You have filled in your business model canvas (well done). Before you go any further, take some time-out to ask yourself some fundamental questions.

Answer as you go, from the top of your head. Be true to yourself. This is conscious innovation.

About yourself

- Why on earth do you want to do all this?
- To what extent does your desire to do good and solve some of the world’s issues stem from an earlier experience or issue in your own life?
- What have you done in the past to solve your own personal problems?
- Who did you engage with to solve these issues?
- Is working on a social innovation a sort of therapy?

About your stakeholders

- Who is mostly touched by the issue you have identified? Who else? And who else again? Who are “they”?
- What do “they” all have in common, if anything?
- What do you really know about them?
- Are you ready to walk in their shoes for more than a month? (Or have you been one of them?)
- If you can’t, how can you know more about them and what their real needs are?

About your field

- What if your social venture depended on massive infrastructure work or new policy to really make a breakthrough, which would they be?
- What are the big myths and unchallenged assumptions in your industry?
- What could make your idea redundant, one day? (Be ruthless and realistic) 
- What could be the collateral damage caused by your venture? (The answer can’t be “nothing")

About your idea

- What is your future story of scale?
- How are you likely to fail?
- What will you do if you are successful?
- What is it that you are not seeing now that has been there all along?
- What could be an unexpected gain for people using your service or product?
- How could people hack and distort your idea?
- What if you had a budget of up to $1000 maximum to prototype and launch your idea, how creatively would you need to think?
- Have you done the grandma test? (Does your grandmother understand what on earth you are trying to achieve?)

Feel free to send me your answers in your comments below, or any other breakthrough questions this list has generated! And for more tips, tools, and insights from social entrepreneurs in our community, scroll the posts below!

Company info

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