And.... who helps the helpers?

We’re presenting the results of our social business supporters’ survey over dinner and discussion in London on 26 September. Get your invitation here.

During the past 15 years (this 21st of June 2016, we’ll celebrate our 15th anniversary!) we have been working with social entrepreneurs from various horizons. The horizons varying according to the countries, the sectors as well as the various definitions of social enterprise in use - which made our conversations nothing but fascinating!

We provided support, mainly to women-led social enterprises, micros and large organisations, ranging from the charitable side of the spectrum to its more commercial variation.


And the more we went on, the more we started talking to the investors, the grant givers (For our Make a wave Incubator), the private foundations, the independent business advisors, the free-lance technical expertise providers… 

And we realised that key issues were coming back: as businesses themselves, the support providers needed to be more accountable, be up-to-date, gain trust, be visible, well networked and strategic… and of course, relevant and sustainable.

So we launched an ongoing survey, to capture what business support providers’ big issues are and how they are being addressed. Through this survey, we wanted to see whether there were needs that could be met more effectively as a community, and eventually serve (women) social entrepreneurs better.

Who are the survey respondents

At this point, survey respondents are representing leadership accelerators, incubators. They are technical consultants, advisors, coaches, mentors, angels or network leaders. They offer their support, to start-ups, scaling businesses, but also to public sector organisations and to large social businesses.  

They are operating from the UK, France, Sweden, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the US, Canada, Australia, Turkey. Their services were distributed in over 100 countries mainly through online platforms and face-to-face sessions.

We are donating questions!

Based on the narratives these support providers shared in this survey, we are donating a few questions that we usually share with the business support providers we coach, and that address some of the issues.

The top challenges for Small Business Support Providers:

56% found their biggest challenge was raising awareness of their products and services with their target audience.

  • How have you validated your target audience’s profile, and their needs?
  • How was it to stand in their shoes?
  • How do you know what you are offering is (still) relevant?
  • How and where do you communicate what you are doing?

60 % of the respondents were seeking to provide more of their current products and services to new audiences.

Expanding your support service market is healthy only if it doesn’t dilute your offering and if you can cope with the variety of the demand.

  • How do you know your product/service works?
  • How do you translate the benefits of our support service in a language that your new audience understands?
  • Who else is communicating what you are doing (but is actually running a similar service from another company!)

Keep tuned in, in the next posts, we’ll donate questions around

- Converting clients into paying customers

- How to convince your potential clients of the business value of your service…

And ff you’d like to work on these issues in more depth, check out our trial coaching sessions:

Company info

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