Women in social enterprise, forget the “soft touch”, focus on this instead.

Here is a quick cheat sheet that you can use when you get too much advice and too many guidelines, and your head starts spinning.

Focus on the essential (in this post and the ones that precede… we are here to serve!)

  • People are waiting for your insights. Spend your time building a strong process, then deliver and evidence your work; segment your participants in meaningful categories. Learn from your results, amend, pilot again and ship for good.
  • Then become an educator in this market.
  • Bring the discipline and the proof (they are not separable) that your model makes a difference
  • You have got  a chance of a lifetime and the opportunities to make a difference in this market place. Seize it.
  • Angels find new businesses at pre-revenue stage very difficult so chase any small amount of money you can.
  • As an entrepreneur, you need to be outstanding in putting your story across. Make it understandable, jargon-free, granny proof!
  • Investors are not here to fund a lifestyle for you, it’s about shared risks.
  • Cornerstones invest if your business has a chance to attract angel investment.
  • If you can go to a bank, get a cheaper loan!
  • Get yourself a financially savvy mentor or a non-exec finance director for instance.
  • You need to be able to challenge figures as the business grows. If it is not your speciality, have you envisaged attending a course in finances for non-financial managers? If not, do so. You’ll survive!
  • You found the business, and then you have to build a team. Failure happens inevitably when you think you can do everything!
  • Be able to provide evidence of your social impact.
  • Monitoring and evaluation are inspirational. (Whether you use it to track your weight or build a new business strategy. If you want a more in-depth conversation about it, let’s chat ( Find us on twitter here).
  • Build your due diligence pack and tidy up the loose bits.
  • As Banksy says, if you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.


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