After detecting a gap in the marketplace for programs catered towards helping technology-based social enterprises, Australian entrepreneur Omer Khan decided to launch Social Startups.
Khan tried various accelerator programs, crowd-funding platforms, venture capital groups and angel investors, but found that none of them offer adequate services for the social entrepreneur wanting to launch a mobile or web application.
“As an entrepreneur, even though I had a background in technology, finance and marketing, I wasn’t a programmer and I found it really difficult to a launch a technology-based social enterprise,” he says.
Aware that there are many other social entrepreneurs like him facing similar challenges, Khan decided to launched Social Startups. Making its debut into market in early 2012, Social Startups has strived to help passionate change-makers around the world validate their social enterprise model and attract funding.
“For any social entrepreneurs with an idea for a mobile or web app for creating social impact, we will develop their app and launch a minimum viable product (MVP) within four weeks,” says Khan.
Social Startups invests in self-sustainable social enterprise ideas that promises to have a global impact and partners with them in developing an MVP and attract funding.
Khan says technology has given us “great advantage to test and validate our business ideas faster than ever before” and as such, Social Startups is not his only creation.
Pursuing entrepreneurship means making sacrifices and accepting potential failures
Khan started his career with a technology consulting group in late 1990’s; and over the past decade he has worked in diverse industries including digital media and finance.
But in 2011, he a started a project called Smart Giving with the aim of developing a system that would allow people to round up everyday transactions and donate leftover change to charities and social projects of their choice. This changed his life and placed him on the path to entrepreneurship.
“My passion became so strong that I gave up everything I had, my job, my house, literally everything. Along the way there were a lot failures, but also a few wins and that led me start Social Startups,” Khan says.
“My proudest moment was when I found courage and decided to quit my job to pursue my passion.”
Despite obstacles, Khan gained valuable insight on the market, and a new platform emerged after Social Startups – Helpi.ly.
“Helpi.ly is a platform to help your family, friends and local community. Members will be able to help with time, money or skills,” says Khan.
“Fun part is, you will earn Joys (points) every time you help others and get discounts through our partner online stores. It’s simple, more you give the more get.”
Why is social entrepreneurship important?
Khan says social entrepreneurship is “the only way we can recover from the damage we have done to ourselves, our planet and our global society.”
Social Enterprise has become a platform for passionate change-makers to “find solutions for disastrous social problems” and it is through social entrepreneurship that we are connect with out true selves of “being human”.
Face your fears
Khan has two pieces of valuable advice. He says it’s important for entrepreneurs to identify their fears, face them head on and one by one remove those fears from their path. As such, entrepreneurs can focus on their passion and goals.
Secondly, he says “be comfortable with your failures and keep failing UNTIL YOU WIN.”
For more information on Social Startups, visit www.socialstartu.ps