It can be difficult for social entrepreneurs to build profitable business models. I outlined a framework below that a social entrepreneur can utilize in order to start thinking through a business model.

Business Model for Social Entrepreneurs

Your answers to the following questions should provide you with the components of your business model. I tried to use a specific example when discussing each step. I recently spoke with a member of the Princeton Impact Project about his social impact internet radio show. It is easier to understand some of the steps below if don’t speak theoretically, so I use his radio show as part of the examples below. Please let me know if I can clarify anything.

Hopefully the above questions get your gears turning in the right direction. Each time you work on a new initiative to solve a different social problem you must go back through these questions. It may help to focus on one initiative at a time. You can build the infrastructure of a business model, produce the specific products for the target market, and set up the sales process. Hand-off the tasks of managing the system and continuing the execution cycles to teams who prefer that type of work.

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