How to create a successful social enterprise | Marquis Cabrera | TEDxTeachersCollege

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today because we're in my own hometown

recently someone actually said to me

when I was mentioned that I was coming

to speak at TEDx Teachers College

marquees you're like this field of

superhero which is absolutely ridiculous

because I'm afraid of spiders I'm an

ordinary person just like you however a

few years ago I found it a social

enterprise to ensure that all kids have

a chance to achieve the American dream

due to the success of my social


I've won numerous awards like

Massachusetts innovator of the Year

Microsoft changemaker

as a result I get a lot of requests on

LinkedIn from budding social

entrepreneurs soliciting soliciting my

advice to build their own social

ventures for example let's check out

Kevin's message a common message reads

like this for years I've been trying to

have an impact in the world then but I'm

not getting in traction can you offer

advice now get about five messages like

this a week and I don't have the time to

answer every single request however I

want to empower others to successfully

start up their own social ventures so

I'm here today to share my own secret

sauce with you guys the bid methodology

on how to take an idea from concept to

reality gain traction and change the

world but first I want to share a little

bit about my own story ironically my

mother attended Columbia University but

she had mental health problems and range

her behaviors range from swinging knives

at me to being a sweetheart and bringing

me delicious Chinese food my biological

father attended college as well then he

went on to so to create medicines that

sold for millions of dollars but he was

never around my parents lived apart when

my dad found out that my mother was

abusive and neglectful he called social

services and at eight years old I was

placed into foster care I bounced around

from home to home to home because my

aunt Peggy was going to adopt me but she

contracted cancer and passed away

my first foster mom was thrilled to

adopt me

but after surgery gone wrong she passed

away I was beginning to lose hope I

didn't care about school my future

education is New York State's math and

reading test got into a gifted and

talented program and it just didn't

matter people were dying

one day my social worker brought me into

the agency and asked do you want to live

with this family is for new foster

family in upstate New York it was either

go upstate or live in a group home and I

had heard bad things about group homes

so I decided to go upstate I gave these

new foster parents a ton of grief from

school getting into fights to school

suspensions I'll never forget my mother

was chastising me for another stupid

thing I had done and I yelled send me to

the group home I don't care she looked

at me and said sit your little ass down

you're not going anywhere

surprisingly um surprisingly instead of

giving up on me my parents shot my new

foster parents shopped showered me with

love and eventually adopted me so I

stopped being a little brat I mellowed a

ho and try my best to make my new

parents proud I geeked out in high

school I geeked out on math team became

active in student government and learned

all about tech and web development I

also joined Junior ROTC

which forever changed the way I view

success personal success I'll never

forget we professional year I

participated in boot camp at West Point

it was definitely not band camp it was

intense physical training from sunup to


one day in boot camp one of my buddies

fell asleep and the Marine Sergeant made

the two kids that didn't wake him up run

around trying to put the geese into

formation which was absolutely hilarious

while hilarious at the moment this

taught me a very important message that

in order to succeed here we needed to

care not only about ourselves we needed

to care about the success of our fellow

cadets so another time during boot camp

a kid cadet was tired cold wet and

couldn't keep going during an

orientation event or in tearing map and

compass event so I slung him on my back

ran through the woods for about a half

an hour in the rain

I want honor cadet in boot camp because

I genuinely learned to care about the

success of my fellow cadets continuing

to care about the success of my fellow

cadets senior year my unit one

distinguished unit with highest honors

for the first time in 20 years we won

because we genuinely cared about the

success of everyone the success of our

fellow cadets and we developed comradery

as my high school career was coming to

an end everyone thought I was headed to

the military but I did not I followed my

heart and a girl to college in Boston I

came intent on becoming a lawyer so I

interned at City Year a non-profit

founded by two Harvard law grads in the

high school dropout rate and I worked at

the White House under President Obama

however I had an experience that forever

changed my career trajectory

Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief

Justice Roderick Ireland was one of my

professors and with his consent I was

able to sit in on cases of the Boston

juvenile court there I witnessed many

heart-wrenching care and protection

cases adoption and foster care cases and

which parents and kids looked lost and


later I helped mentor a foster kid who

went from getting C's and DS to getting

A's and B's these experiences made me

want to learn more about the foster care

system that many kids myself included or

forced into and what I learned shocked

me so imagine this that everybody in

this room was in foster care or was a

foster 12 child half of you would have

graduated from high school but the rest

of you wouldn't this front row would

have graduated from college but no one

else and most of you would have spent

time in the jail

homeless or be dead by 19 years old

that is insane and I knew I had to do

something about it but so I deferred my

lifelong dream of becoming an attorney

and turned down offers to work at top

consulting firms my parents thought I


easy but I followed seth godin advice if

it scares you it might be a good thing

to try I felt obligated to try and

systematically transform the foster care

system so I found it

foster skills a social enterprise

dedicated to helping foster kids beat

the odds and become productive citizens

starting off though I had no idea how to

build a social venture that captured the

impact that I wanted to see in the world

so I decided to study the Ventures of

many successful social entrepreneurs

like Adam Rana pencils of promise and

Jacqueline Novogratz of the acumen fund

to see what their secret recipe was or

their recipe success was I started

noticing some patterns I captured these

patterns and created the bid methodology

the that I used to create my own social

enterprise before I tell you about the

bid methodology I want to share with you

what let's define social enterprise so a

social enterprise is a for purpose

company it could be a nonprofit or

for-profit that uses entrepreneurship to

tackle social environmental or human

justice issue in the world now that we

explain social enterprise let me tell

you what this bid methodology is mark

I've been talking about it for so long

so what is the bid methodology bid

methodology is business impact brand so

business what do you want to do and why

this is not your traditional business

plan it's what you provide in what

society gets in return financial

otherwise if there's a problem in the

world and you're really really really

passionate about it

it could be in any industry energy

education environment and you want to

use entrepreneurship to bring it to

light you must do your homework I'm not

talking about spreadsheets and profit

margins you must know exactly what's

going on in that space in order to not

take away resources from existing

organizations doing great work plus you

want to use your time and resources

wisely so Muhammad Yunus is a perfect

example of business he was a professor

who visited poor villages and discovered

that small loans could help poor people

and Bangladesh he pioneered micro loans

and founded the Grameen Bank because

traditional banks weren't

handing out loans he showed that

low-income families were good investment

with his new method of business impact

who do you create value for and how much

essentially what is your value

proposition you need to be specific

anecdotes and qualitative information

are great but you need some numbers what

matters most is that you need to show

that you're solving problems that are

going to make our world a better place

what is it that you're providing is it

beneficial is it effective are you able

to scale and most importantly you need

to be willing to put yourself to exist

to put yourself out of business so Scott

Harrison in 2006 founded charity:water

a social enterprise dedicated to

bringing clean water to the billions of

people without it to date he's brought

clean water to 3 million people and over

20 different countries around the world

he's able to gain traction because he

connected his supporters to their

individual impact using your phone you

can use GPS and literally track your

donation in real time

once he accomplishes his goal of

bringing clean water to the billions of

people without it he will literally be

putting himself out of business brand

new champions you and are they credible

your brand is not just your logo it's

your who you are

it's your network you need more than

just your mom's a good word unless your

mom works for JPMorgan Chase um you need

credible social capital you need people

whose shoulders will allow you to stand

on their shoulders and who put in a good

word for you

and also who'd put their reputation on

the line because they believed what you

were doing has the ability to change the

world so in order to start building or

crafting your brand form relationships

with your co-workers mentors if they're

someone you admire reach out to them

cold call CO email them you need to

convince at least one credible person

that your business and impact are worthy

then more will follow

so Saul Khan was struggling to gain

traction but his vision of free

education for all inspired his earlier

adopters these early adopters

then told bill gates of Khan Academy

Bill Gates became inspired then he

mentioned Khan Academy at a big tech

conference then Khan Academy started to

gain traction raise funding now we see

Sal Khan all of these Bank of America

commercials we see him on Forbes

magazine and many of us probably use his

platform Sal Khan Scott Harrison and

Muhammad Yunus

seem like extraordinary people but

they're not they're ordinary people who

saw a problem and wanted to do something

about it

they became super successful social

entrepreneurs and you can too if you use

the bid methodology you ever to sell

potential supporters with digestible

pieces of information like your business

like your impact like your brand in

addition you also win hearts and minds

which will help you to gain traction and

raise funding you will also jump in to

building a successful social enterprise

by using a methodology that many

successful social entrepreneurs have

already used now I want to use bib in a

couple case studies with my own

nonprofit Foster's goes so Foster's goes

we're in the business of helping foster

kids to beat the odds because we believe

that every kid deserves a chance in this

world we do this by teaching kids soft

and hard life skills advocating on their

behalf creating awareness about the

issues facing kids in foster care

innovating government's approach and

ultimately creating a system of support

our impact at foster schools are

straightforward to date we've worked at

five hundred kids in foster care put on

a hundred how to's we've informally

helped seventeen foster kids get jobs

and we've developed a workforce

development program with the mentorship

of Europe in addition with Northeastern

University professors we hope to social

protest and successfully advocated for

three bills in two years and also we

leverage the innovation economy and new

technologies to build a web portal of

resources for kids in foster care

all the while highlighting on our

chronicles of youth in action blog what

success will foster youth are doing

we were able to build our brand by

having credible supporters for example

my fraternity brother introduced me to

city councilor Tito Jackson when he was

first running for office when he won he

took me to exclusive networking with

events and I met a ton of people who

provided a lot of support and were super


now also cold called cold emailed and

not so quite randomly ran into a lot of

people at events and now we have

supporters like Microsoft the case

foundation Frank and oak and many folks

who believe that foster extricates whose

part Foster's goes because they believe

that every kid should have a chance in

the world now showed you an example of

my own service focus social enterprise

but I want to show you an example with a

traditional product focus social

enterprise then believe in Betsey Nunez

grew up in a military family there my


Emily participated in college ROTC she

learned that the veteran unemployment

rate in the US was twice that of the

u.s. national average so she talked to

her sister and they developed sportin

plow which is in the business of selling

fashionable materials and items out of

that made from recycled military

materials and hires millets US military

veterans through their sourcing and

manufacturing since launching in April

2013 they've had an incredible impact

they've recycled over 15,000 pounds of

military surplus generated over $400,000

in sales ten percent of which is donated

to veteran military veteran

organizations here in the US and more

importantly they created 36 part and

full-time jobs here for military

veterans in the US which is incredible

they were able to build momentum and

build their brand by pitching to anyone

who listen as a result they gained

credible supporters like TOMS

MassChallenge the White House and me who

believe that our military veterans and

here in the u.s. deserve our support

more support

emily has been building this company

while on active duty in Afghanistan she

had to do it now because her tomorrow is

not guaranteed and we should all be

thinking that way there are eight

hundred and sixty thousand seconds in a

day and my view life is too short to

build things that don't matter their

world is abundant with problems but we

all have the ability to help and try to

solve at least one whether it's building

new technologies that optimize everyday

living helping to find a cure to cancer

ending hunger or even just making

someone smell we have the power to

change the world

Dropbox co-founder once said that the

happiest and most successful people I

know don't just love what they do

they're obsessed with solving a problem

something that matters to them they

remind me of a dog chasing a tennis ball

their eyes go a little crazy

deletion snaps and they go bounding off

ploughing into whatever gets in the way

so if you have an idea to make the world

a better place instead of emailing me on

LinkedIn use the bid methodology and

bring it to life thank you