Imagine a 3D printer sitting on your desk at home. With the click of a button you select your favorite Star Wars coffee mug and hit the print button. A few minutes later R2-D2 is waiting for his fill of coffee. No pile of packaging and bubble wrap to throw out. No emissions from a ship plowing across the ocean or truck crawling through traffic.
Getting a startup off the ground is hard work. The team needs to juggle developing an MVP, validating customers, pivoting, finding investors, growing the team, and gaining traction. It can be an overwhelming experience, especially for those trying to balance profit with people and planet.
For-profit startups with a social or environmental mission need to demonstrate performance, accountability, and transparency in achieving a positive impact. Developing the framework to actually achieve these goals can be a challenge.
Any startup looking to make a positive impact in the world needs to search for a structure that fits the mission of the organization and balances priorities.
Social ventures encompass a wide range of activities but at their core they are striving to accomplish a socially beneficial goal. Whether a traditional donation based charity or a socially oriented for-profit enterprise, each structure offers different advantages in helping a startup make a positive impact.