If you are a social entrepreneur or aspiring to be one then creating visibility for your venture is an issue you will have to deal with at some point. Standing out in a crowd of commercial products that are already well entrenched in the market is definitely not easy. That however doesn’t mean it is an insurmountable task. Here’s how some thought and a little effort on your part will turn the spotlight on you and your venture…
Sponsor an Event
One of the best ways of creating visibility for your venture is sponsoring a local event. You don’t have to spend tons of money by way of sponsorship. One excellent way of gaining visibility and creating an impact is by associating with college festivals. A small sponsorship will get you anything ranging from a space for your banner, table space for your products and access to many young volunteers who could help your venture grow!
Get involved and get people involved with your venture. Pick occasions and events to associate with and build a relationship with society. eCoexist‘s strategy of using the Ganesh Festival to promote its initiatives like collection and recycling of nirmalya (floral offerings made to the Elephant God together with fruits and coconuts) and promoting the use of eco-friendly Ganesha idols instead of those fashioned out of plaster of Paris is one such move.
Their Rang Dular brand of natural Holi colors gives employment to prisoners at the Yerwada jail. The colors are used by companies for their on campus Holi celebrations eCoexistropes in college students, companies, farmers, NGO’s, SHG’s, rag pickers and prisoners in its endeavors. In this way it reaches out to different sections of society, gets involved with their issues and in turn gets them involved with it.
Join a Network
Join a social enterprise network. Your options include global, national and even local support networks that are helping entrepreneurs everywhere with finance, marketing and human resource issues is a great idea. It really is the best and quickest way of testing the waters with your “social enterprise ideas”.
A great platform to exchange ideas, a support network is your window to probable customers, financers and partners.
Approach Up market Retailers
Retail in India is one arena which is growing at a rapid pace. Up market retailers consider marketing products made by artisans, disadvantaged groups of people and the like a huge plus as far as store image goes.
This is probably why Thunk in India which is the link between slum dwellers and rag pickers and some trendy shoulder bags, pouches, laptop cases and table mats finds shelf space for its products with boutique retailers in Bangalore now Bengaluru, India such as Mother Earth, Satva, Ants and, cafÃ©s such as Java City and Daily Bread.
So head for the up market shopping destinations to display your wares and see how the footfalls grow.
Get Media Savvy
Don’t shy away from the media and underestimate the impact of newspaper stories, publicity, social networking sites. Use all of these to your advantage. Let people know about the way you are helping change lives and redefine the retail experience in your town/city/country through the media.
Youstory.in is an online forum for entrepreneurs to tell their stories and you can do that too. Simply register online and submit your story or share your experiences to get in touch with millions of readers across the globe.
A website or a blog is a great way to chronicle your story and of course if you’re not on Facebook and Twitter people might question your existence altogether.
Having said that I would say… think out of the box… inform, educate and partner with schools, colleges, NGO’s and SHG’s to let people know who you are and what you do. Garnering support from these sections of society will help you spread the word quickly… God speed to you!