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Where Does Design fit in your Social Enterprise Equation?

This post is by GWR contributing writer Brielle Maxwell 

 Making change is all about the right elements in the right equations. Girls Who Rock put education at the heart of their equation. To make this happen they champion design, technology and music as their elements. 

Let’s dive deeper into the design element.  Design at it’s core is a problem solving process. Its outcomes can be as diverse as the field of design itself, from fashion to graphic design. What can you learn from the design to apply to your creative team, or social enterprise? Where does design fit into your equation?

Are you thinking of starting a social  enterprise or nonprofit? Design it with a business model canvas. It’s takes a daunting task of figuring out a business plan  and turns it into a collaborative and visual process. The Business Model Canvas answers who, what, when and how with nine essential building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, resources, activities, partnerships, and costs. While filling it out, stories are visualised and dialogue occurs.  The  canvas encourages thinking of multiple options. One can quickly prototype a variety of offerings and possibilities. This is known as iteration in design speak.

The next step is to form a team where the design process can thrive. Identify the roles people play in the design process. While some team players like to dream up new ideas, others get satisfaction in taking the steps to building those ideas into reality. It boils down to one’s personal preference. Identifying the qualities of each team member can give you insights on how to structure a team for everyone’s advantage.  Who will you pair up  and  during what point of the project? These questions can be explored by reading about dreamers, doers and incrementalists in Scott Belsky’s  Making Ideas Happen. Another possible option is to encourage your team to take the Entrepreneurial Zone Of Genius survey to determine their profiles.

With a team formed, go forward and use the design process to evolve.  Create your vision. Don’t wait until it’s perfect. Bring it to people when it provides a better experience than what exists.  If it makes a difference for a small group of people, start to make the change happen. Improve, explore, get insights and continue to develop and grow.

Design can be a great to foundation for any nonprofit or social enterprise equation.  Begin investigating design from your own perspective. Design is open to any participants who want to make a difference in their world.


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Filed under: Brielle Maxwell, Business Model Canvas, Design, entrepreneurship, Making Ideas Happen., Non-Profit, Scott Belsky, Socent, Team Building by stephanie

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