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Shining light on our thinking & doing, our epiphanies & struggles, & our movement.

Owning My Journey: Developing Entrepreneurial Mindsets

When one hears “entrepreneur”, I’m sure the descriptions of trailblazer, problem-solver, innovator or risk-taker pop into the listener’s head. It becomes a description for someone who is brave and ready slay the dragon but also prepared to be imprisoned by the belly of the beast and make their way out to try again. It means never giving up, fail forward, solve the problem, and make a difference—create real change.

With these admirable traits, who wouldn’t want to be considered an entrepreneur?

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The Myth of the Ironclad Entrepreneur

Well, here we are again at the close of another summer.  I always feel like these months slip right through my hands – which is probably why I’m writing this blog about time management. Over the past few months, I’ve found myself learning my way into innovation and entrepreneurship in a way that is sufficiently self-directed.

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Working with Community: A Social Entrepreneur’s Travels Abroad

As part of the completion of my minor in Indigenous Studies at Mount Royal University, I had the opportunity to study on the island of Hawai’i for three weeks with over 20 other students. We were there to study aloha àina and activism – as it pertains to the Kanaka Maoli communities. In the same vein, I was also there to start building relationships for my business. I had just started my time as a Trico Foundation summer student, and felt that this opportunity would be a great way to delve into some of the specifics around my venture, Sarjesa Inc., and its future growth.

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Effective Learning

No matter how strongly you believe them, many of your views and beliefs about your venture are best guesses. As you move forward it is important to: have an understanding of what you need to be true in order for your social enterprise to achieve the social and financial goals you have set and find out, in the cheapest, fastest, most effective way possible, whether they are true.

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Blending the Social and Entrepreneurial (Do You See Green?)

While blending a social mission with an entrepreneurial model can be powerful, it can be surprisingly tricky. However, by mapping how your social model impacts your market value and the degree to which your social model addresses your customer’s needs map (and how these two aspects interact) you have the opportunity to identify a number of possible pressure points to keep an eye on as you move forward with your social enterprise.

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The 6 Key Mindsets of Social Entrepreneurship (& Entrepreneurship & Changemaking)

Effective learning is shrinking your feedback loops as much as possible: Everything you do that really matters should either confirm your thinking or teach you something new, and it should do so as cheaply, efficiently and quickly as possible. Effective learning is knowing what to test, how to test, and how to learn from the results of that test in a way that you use to improve your efforts and impact.

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Making the Most of Your Early Adopter

As a new venture or an existing venture that is looking to reach new customers, the first step to getting your customer groupings into a manageable bite-size pieces is finding the subgroup within your potential customers that share the traits of your ‘early adopter’ customer.

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Estimating ‘Steady State’ Revenue & Expenses

As you continue to flesh out your venture, you will need to begin assigning values and costs to the resources you have identified. The goal here is to move from understanding the costs and revenue of each unit of sale and/ or impact to how these things will look on a yearly basis when your venture reaches its stable state (This may or may equal your ultimate goal. It’s the state where most assumptions have been resolved and progress starts being steady. If you have no idea when that would be, imagine five years from now).

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Your ‘Steady State’ Goals (Social & Financial)

At Trico Foundation we often talk to groups about their goals for their social enterprise and discuss what their venture will look like when it has reached its desired steady state (here we are talking about down the road when you have reached your financial and social impact goals—please note that we previously referred to this as your five-year goals/ fifth year of operating, however each venture and industry will have a different indicators for stability and it is important to work with the desired goals/ markers that you have set out to indicate that your venture has reached its steady state).

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Making the Most of Key Stakeholders

This blog is an opportunity for us to introduce a number of groups and types of stakeholders that you may come in contact with/ have to respond to as develop or grow your social enterprise.

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