According to Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinecke, there has never been a more urgent need to social innovation. Below, Dr. Heinecke outlines what he thinks needs to be done to promote social entrepreneurs in Germany.
1. Relieve Social Enterprises financially
Social enterprises are at a disadvantage with a business model. Unlike charities they have no tax advantages. Fiscal policy should here be adjusted, along the lines of Britain. There is a mixed form of non-profit and commercial activity was the so-called “Community Interest Companies” found that social enterprises not tax concessions, but relieved financially.
2. Rethinking: Profit is not only profit maximization
If one takes a look at the current global challenges of refugee situation to climate change, it is clear that we can not go on as before. Nowadays business and politics must define success differently. Profit is not only profit maximization. A social enterprise does not have the ambition to make big money, but creates an enormous social value, one has to also be called profit.
3. Less silo mentality, more openness
Social enterprises are often isolated. This is partly due to the very different ways of working: ideas that can implement social startups quickly and easily often mean administrative burden for companies. Social entrepreneurs are perceived as chaotic world changers who only bring unrest to organizations. This silo mentality has to be overcome.
4. “Made in Germany” as a quality seal for social innovation
“Germany represents more than machinery, automobiles and pharmaceuticals. The 2016 competition, “Excellent Landmarks in the Land of Ideas’ shows that in Germany both technical and social innovations are developed. This should also be made clear by the famous seal of approval, made in Germany ‘.
5. No copy protection for good ideas
A good social enterprise is an impulse and trend setter. Success is not measured by the financial return, but the social value.
6. Failure makes you smarter
It is stigmatized in Germany if one fails. This is in many countries different – in the US, for example, failure of part of the business. It lacks a culture of open dealing with bankruptcies, bad luck and mishaps. The learning that comes from an crisis is completely underestimated.
7. Senior-founder to power
In the social start-up scene a trend can be observed where more and more elderly people start another career as a founder. The many baby boomers who are now heading for retirement, have time, money and experience. These are optimum conditions. In addition, this generation is well trained and grew up with the mentality to get involved for others.
Photo credit: “www.colourbox.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Land of Ideas.