The Social Venture Start-up Challenge:Unacceptable Outcomes
One of the accepted truths about new venture innovation and start-up success in the venture capital world is that thousands of business ideas need to be identified, reviewed, and vetted to isolate a small handful that are worthy of being funded. The generally expected outcomes around even those small number of “funded” ideas is that the majority will fail to reach the critical mass and momentum necessary to go IPO. In fact, it’s not uncommon to read that venture capitalists expect only about five in every thousand ideas reviewed to be funded, three of those to fail, one to get sold off, and only one to ever reach the pinnacle of what a VC in the commercial, for profit world, would call a success, an IPO.
While these statistics are daunting for every would-be high technology entrepreneur, the statistics can be even more alarming to those pursuing social venture start-up success where the availability and access to risk-tolerant funding is much more limited than in the commercial banking or venture capital world.
From our point of view, these “1 out of a 1000” success statistics and their implications to our community’s social venture entrepreneurs, are simply unacceptable.
So, how can we address this unacceptable situation? How can we “change the odds” in regards to driving radically higher levels of social venture start-up success from the work of our community’s social venture entrepreneurs; work they drive to create, launch, and sustain more self-sufficient approaches to serving our community’s most pressing social challenges, needs, and problems?
Changing the Outcomes of our Innovation Efforts: Improved QUALITY = Improved YIELD
Our experience and work clearly suggests that there’s a way for all social entrepreneurs to significantly improve their odds of achieving success from their efforts. Achieving these higher success rates hinge on improving the QUALITY of the ideas that are developed and taken forward to get funded and sponsored. Sounds simple? It isn’t. We’ve seen that success in improving the QUALITY of new social venture start-up ideas requires entrepreneurs to adopt a collaboration-based leadership approach to their work as well as dedicate themselves to following a more effective innovation development framework to help guide their team’s new social venture creation journey. To be significantly more effective, the start-up and its innovation development framework must help these entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls associated with , 1) prematurely pursuing ideas and solutions that simply fit their own, incomplete, personal understanding of the community challenges, needs, or problems targeted to be served, and 2) failing to fully take into account the essential community stakeholder support and sponsorship realities that exist; realties that must be addressed in order to be successful in securing the funding and sponsorship commitments necessary to move their social venture forward into full development and implement.
To help social venture entrepreneurs dramatically increase the effectiveness (“Quality”) and impact of their efforts, we developed the “Breakaway Social Venture Start-up Framework”. This insightful entrepreneurial leadership and process management framework helps guide every social entrepreneur through a unique combination of strategy, structure, and process choice points that we believe will significantly improve the QUALITY of the ideas emerging from their work and that of their team. This higher QUALITY will help drive significantly higher YIELDS in terms of attracting and securing the sponsorship, funding, and community adoption rates necessary to support new social venture start-up success.
The Breakaway Social Venture Start-up Framework is a tool that we believe every social entrepreneurial leader can use, like a compass, to better navigate their social venture start-up journey towards; for themselves and the communities they set out to serve.