Orange County Social Entrepreneurship Competition Showcase finalists will be presenting their sustainable business plans to the public at the University of California, Irvine, on May 10 at 9:30 a.m.
Finalists were chosen May 2 with applicants from nine countries, 13 states and over 30 cities in California.
Dr. Scott Fredrickson is the executive director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Learning Center at Saddleback College.
“Social entrepreneurship is so important because generating sustainable businesses that do social good often end up needing donations. Everybody is begging for the same finite pot of money. This is about businesses with their own profits not worrying about philanthropy and donations,” Frederickson said.
The competition allows the international community to pitch sustainable business ideas with a motive for social change. Based off the Michigan Entrepreneurship Challenge, Saddleback College organized and administered the Orange County competition and opened it to communities internationally. This is the first time the Social Entrepreneurship Competition has been done on an international level
“There are so many reasons to be excited. First is that we get to find new ways to solve social problems. We should utilize the free market in our democratic system and look at the power of free market and business knowledge to help solve problems,” Saddleback College President Todd Burnett said. “This is a great opportunity and the chance of a lifetime. We encourage everyone to come forward with ideas. These businesses could have lasting ramifications for people, issues and the economy.”
Dr. Fredrickson has been working on the showcase for three months.
“We’re trying to be a leader in the social entrepreneurship movement. The new way to look at business plans is for the triple bottom line. The first bottom line is to make a profit. The second is to ask what are you doing for people. The third is what is the business doing for the environment,” Fredrickson said. “All plans have to have a social aspect. Think of all the social issues ¬- homelessness, hunger, women sex trade, veteran unemployment. What issue is the business going to solve and can they make it sustainable”
According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review 2013 www.ssireview.org “The social entrepreneur is a tenacious leader with a pragmatic vision and a solution that address a clear social problem. Social entrepreneurs address systems — not just the symptoms of a problem they seek to address, and their business model prioritizes social impact while generating a sustainable funding stream.”
Saddleback has also opened and entrepreneurship center which hosts classes, seminars and resources available to the community. The classes are a part of the Community Education program in response to community needs.
“ We are setting up the center to help people figure out how to open a business and be socially sustainable. Many people don’t know how to setup a business, we want to open up community outreach. Many services will be free. People can come for research and figure out new opportunities to start a business.”
For more information visit www.entrepreneurship.saddleback.edu