An enterprise is considered social when it is set up to positively change an aspect of the world. This aspect could be a certain area, a sector such as education or a problem such as unemployment. There are over 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £24 billion to the economy and employing near to 1 million people. To ensure a business is considered a social enterprise, their social mission should be the core aspect of their success, rather than any potential profit, which is what my potential business consists of.
In terms of adolescence, young people will take more risks in order to get what they want. Most are too absorbed in making money because of peer influences and other aspects. This causes them to ignore legitimate means of becoming wealthier, therefore turning to faster, more ‘efficient’ methods. In the year ending March 2016, nearly 40% of proven offences by young people were money-related. In order for them to legitimately get money, I have come up with an idea where young people aged 13 to 18 can sell self-chosen products (that will come in handy – such as stationery, mints, essential items like umbrellas) to the public for a profit that goes into their pockets. 2 sessions will be running during each holiday – one for 13 to 15-year-olds, and one for 16 to 18-year-olds. This will not be simultaneous, and instead, run one after the other over a period of 4 weeks. During this holiday course, they are able to gain extra holiday money and will be able to interact with successful entrepreneurs for advice and information about going into the industry. Before going straight to the streets to sell, they will take part in informal and informative sessions where they can get tips on how to sell, how to spend and how to keep on top of money. I want to focus my attention on disadvantaged (in terms of wealth and ethnicity) youths from London, as they will benefit most from this course.
Overview of Plan
My most important mission is to decrease the amount of money-related crime rates amongst youths in London. Although this is ambitious, with definite profit this business can be expanded around London to other boroughs and hopefully to large areas in the UK such as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. Because 317% more burglary happens in Hackney than the national average, the first-year course will take place here. There are 5 youth clubs in the borough which are potential sites for the business – the site will have to be rented out.
In order for this enterprise to be operationalised, I will need support; whether it be from the government or from small foundations. An application for a start-up loan will be necessary, and this will be roughly £10,000. An application for a grant is also available, but it’s a time-consuming and competitive – the grant may not be successful. ‘Enterprise Europe Network’ in Greater London is a company set up to give expert advice for small businesses looking to commercialise ideas and succeed internationally. This comes with small funding and finance advice along with helping to find the right partners. Finally, there are small enterprises set up such as ‘Esmee Fairbairn’ which is aimed at improving support for disadvantaged children and young people, so they may be interested in investing in my enterprise. Here I can get roughly £5000. Another example is ‘NatWest Social and Community Capital’ which gives business support and a loan of £20,000. In total, I could get a loan of up to £30,000, if the government loans and grants are accepted.
With referral to partners, staff will be hired to look after the children and make sure everything is running smoothly. I will also have staff taking care of finance. Also, entrepreneurs will be asked to volunteer themselves to talk to the young people about the career path during the course. Staff will get £7 an hour (5 hours a day for 5 days a week) totalling to around £350 for the 2-week session. On the basis that there is 1 staff member to 20 children, there will be 10 members of staff for the younger age group session and with 1 staff member to 30 young adults, there will be 7 members of staff for the older age group session. Including 5 employees dealing with finance, there will be 22 members of staff. This means staff payments will total to £7700.
Marketing is a vital part of any business. To reach my customers, I will mostly target schools and youth centres. This is the best place to get the attention of young adults. Similarly, leaflets will be created and sent through most letterboxes of the houses in the area. With just under 20 secondary schools and youth centres in Hackney, the aim is to make 50,000 leaflets altogether. With A5 high-quality leaflets costing roughly 1p to make in batch, it will cost around £500. When promoting in schools, roller banners are necessary to bring more attention to the course. It will be roughly £200 for four. As well as this, T-Shirts will be made for the people on the course to wear when outside selling to promote the business further. For each session, this will cost £800 to £1000 depending on the quality. Overall, under £2000 will be spent on marketing alone.
It will cost each individual £30 to join the course. There will be 200 people in each of the 2 courses run during the summer holidays. This will all together make £12,000. 10% profit will be taken from each individual earning, so if each individual makes £100 to £200, that’s £4000-£8000 extra revenue. If going on the basis that there are only two sessions a year, this will create an income of just less than £20,000. When deducting marketing costs (£2000), staff payments (£7700) and site rental costs (£500), the annual profit amounts to just under £10,000, which will be reinvested into the next course.
The Social Value Proposition for this enterprise is to help keep youths away from using illegal activities to gain money. This course encourages them to start gaining money at a young age and helps them to learn about the importance of money. The Social Impact Measure used to find out how much of an impact the enterprise has had would be to collect data after the course completion about employment rates amongst the youths and general feedback. This will test how strong the social mission is.
The main benefiters are the children; they are gaining money, gaining an insight into entrepreneurship as well as learning more about finance. Other benefiters include their parents, as it keeps their children occupied and positively engaged in something that will help them. The area will also benefit from a decrease in crime rates amongst youths, and of course, it will be advantageous to the public who will be offered to purchase cheap and beneficial products.
In relation to strengths, this enterprise is viable because of the enthusiasm people have of making money, and the increase in the number of entrepreneurs in more recent years, which will be of interest to youths. However, long-term challenges include competitors. The main competitors would be other businesses set out to help youths during holidays, such as ‘NCS’. Despite this, my enterprise is more viable because of the idea of gaining extra money. When considering the Macro Economic Environment, a way in which economic changes affect the market for this enterprise is the minimum wage increasing. This is because young adults may find it more profitable to get a part-time job instead of participating in a course, but it can be argued that the course brings knowledge, entertainment and socialising as well as money. Also, parents might be more likely to spend their money on something like tutoring, but when they hear of all the benefits of this course, they may think otherwise. A technological change is, of course, social media, which is becoming more successful. Therefore, it is vital that the business is promoted online.
One of the main challenges faced when creating the enterprise was determining how to target disadvantaged youths. To resolve this, disadvantaged areas should be targeted rather than individuals. A lot of research went into finding out about public selling. A ‘Street Trading License’ is needed, and whether a fee is required depends on the area. Also, when researching about child employment, it was found that children are not allowed to work without having a 2-week break, which means the course will only be able to take place during the summer holidays which are usually 6 weeks. Also, 13 to 14-year-olds can work a maximum of 25 hours a week, so the course will be 5 hours on the weekdays for 2 weeks. The hours must be after 7 am and before 7 pm, so the course will run from 12 pm to 5 pm. With reference to long-term sustainability, the aim is to have the course run all over London in the next 5 years, and then all over the UK before 2025.
To summarise, it has come clear over intense research and planning that entrepreneurs face a difficult task in developing a business. Creating a business plan requires determination and passion in accomplishing the missionary aims. In order to make the business plan for my next social enterprise stronger, I will ensure all financial numbers are completely correct, with no adjustments needing to be made. This is so there is a clear understanding of revenue and profit. It is also vital to be realistic, considering all the challenges and all the opportunities. Finally, a creative outlook is always appropriate, as it grabs the potential clients’ attention.