Awareness of the importance of collaboration is the first step in enabling a social enterprise to scale up. Because collaboration will provide many benefits in terms of business development, resource efficiency, expanding impact, as well as the potential for greater business profits. So, how can social entrepreneurs find the right partners to collaborate with?
Map potential partners
As social entrepreneurs, try to map out potential partners by finding out the players in the impact ecosystem. Among several players you can try to reach out are fellow social entrepreneurs, government, corporations, NGOs, communities, and even mass media.
Pay attention to their background and vision
Once you’ve identified the players, try to determine which among them have the potential to collaborate. One way to find out whether or not they’re suitable for your business is to look at their background and vision.
Joining an accelerator program is one way to find the right social enterprise partner for collaboration. Instellar has experience in developing accelerator programs for social entrepreneurs. Among them are I-SEA, BFA, MIH EAST, Sehat Impact Accelerator, Jakarta MRT Accelerator, etc. Accelerator programs often bring together social enterprises who operate in the same business sector or in different sectors but have intersections.
In the Instellar & IKEA Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator (I-SEA) program, for example, there are several social entrepreneurs who collaborate together, such as Greenie and Kulaku, who have succeeded in producing cocopot, which is an environmentally friendly product that can be used as a planting medium both indoors and outdoors. Apart from that, Liberty Society and Westbike Messenger are collaborating through an upcycling project to recycle old jackets.
Initiate a meeting
Now that you know your background and goals are in line, the next step is to have further discussions with potential partners. As experienced by alumni of the Blue Finance Accelerator (BFA) program, namely Mina Ceria and Sambung Asa. After careful discussions, they gave birth to a collaborative project with the concept of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA), which combines fish ponds and seaweed.
Of course, this collaboration was born out of various discussions regarding ideas and other preparations. As social entrepreneurs, after deciding on the potential partners we’d like to collaborate with, take the initiative to contact potential partners in order to create further discussions.
Make a joint agreement
Apart from discussing the form of collaboration that will be carried out, the next important step is to make a joint agreement. This can be stated in the form of a memorandum of understanding, cooperation agreement, or even a business merger. Having detailed, well-drafted agreements provides clarity, creates effective communication, and minimizes risk. This will be the basis for successful and mutually beneficial cooperation in the future.
Support for collaborations
Bringing about a collaboration requires the right strategy and planning. If your company or social enterprise wants to start or develop a collaboration related to ESG/SDG/impact ecosystem, Instellar can help map the right collaboration opportunities and potential. With a network of more than 270 social entrepreneur alumni, we are ready to connect, analyze and provide input for greater collaboration and impact both economically, socially and environmentally. Contact [email protected] for further information!
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