You’ve Gotta Love Those Yanks and They Do Have Beautiful Teeth

Posted: 18 February 2011, in Blog

18 Feb 2011

You’ve gotta love those Yanks and they do have beautiful teeth

I ran a straw poll recently; apparently everything sucks: Cameron’s Big Society draws sniggers from the political elite, funding for voluntarism and social entrepreneurship is in crisis and the Welfare State as we understand it is in terminal decline. To change the mood a little, I’d suggest that if you are an entrepreneur then this is a time of opportunity.

It may be that what you founded, hold dear, manage, work for etc has no future but as an entrepreneur you ought to be able spot opportunity and take action.

So, let me introduce you to Kaboom. This webpage will allow you to download free advice, help, replicable principles and strategies to advance your social mission.

Kaboom’s mission is for all American kids to have a playground. What the Kaboomers did, was come to understand how to scale their mission up. They realised that if they stuck to traditional NFP models based on building up Kaboom itself, they would only ever scratch the surface. To achieve their mission they realised they had to get other folk to adopt this mission and do it for themselves. To achieve impact, Kaboom decided to give their ideas, resources and experience away and ask for feedback in return – it’s called open sourcing and is the model for amongst other things Wikipedia.

I’m intrigued by this because I see Scottish social enterprises and their trade associations use the internet in very limited, limiting and traditional ways.  If you do nothing else, check out the webpage above and look at their analysis of online and offline activity by NFPs and how individuals and communities are engaged to trade/transact/communicate/volunteer/organise with social enterprises or NFP organisations. Ask yourself one simple question; in the diagram on the webpage where would my organisation or me fit.

Trust me, if you know and understand that then you will be better at developing your online and offline strategies to survive the current mess we are in and grow in the future.

You’ve gotta love those Yanks – their social entrepreneur community is web savvy, literate and willing to share. They “get” the power of networks and social entrepreneurs ought to understand our shared culture and the moral imperative to spread good ideas and methods. Good entrepreneurs often develop businesses on the “me too” principle. That is to say, they witness something successful, see how they can copy it or even better add value to it and take action.

Good luck with your mission and go to your next board meeting with an agenda item called “Impact and Networks”. It will certainly make a change from an item called “Cuts”.



Note: The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition.