[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat do Eva Longoria, social entrepreneurship,and $1 million dollars of funding have in common? The ability to significantly impact social enterprise and perhaps the world’s future.
Longoria was announced as one of three judges in “The Venture” — Chivas Regal’s search to find and support the most innovative startups from across the world. Alongside judges Joe Huff (Founder of LSTN Sound Co.), Sonal Shah (founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation) and Alexandre Ricard (Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO), Longoria will be tasked with dividing a portion of Chivas’ $1 million fund amongst “The Venture” finalists — inspirational social entrepreneurs who aim to succeed in business while having a positive impact on the lives of others.
“There are so many companies that don’t understand social responsibility and giving back, so when I heard of Chivas The Venture I was intrigued because my life is focused on entrepreneurship and philanthropy, so this is a personal interest of mine,” Longoria states.
She sees her role on the panel of judges as one of mutual benefit, bringing her research and experiences in entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures to the event while meeting other promising social entrepreneurs from around the world.
“Using business as a force for good is not only a passion of mine but, really, it’s the only way that we’re going to change the world.”
While your business may not have started out as a social enterprise, that doesn’t mean you can’t add in some elements of social entrepreneurship.
Want your business to be more socially conscious? Here are four steps you can take to make social responsibility a priority in your business.
1. Start from within.
Examine your processes, the inputs, and the outputs. Are you sourcing from fair labor areas? Do you use sustainable products? Can you create a point-of-purchase opportunity where a percentage goes to a cause that is authentic to your program and brand? A great example of this is Tom’s. You buy a pair of shoes, and a pair of shoes is provided for a child in need.
“Tom’s is a great example of a business build with social responsibility in mind from the onset,” Longoria states, “To create a full-circle social business plan, social consciousness needs to be in the DNA of your company.”
2. Think local, impact global.
Although your business may physically exist in and you may serve a local community, your impacts can go far beyond. A product, process, system or service you create can perhaps solve an issue in another community. One of the most exciting aspects of being asked to judge, states Longoria, is the ability to see how a product created with one community in mind can impact so many other areas.