IMAGINE PITCHING: “I’m seeking $1 Million Dollars for 0% equity…”
We did this with a new social venture called BizzyB, a kid’s version of BizGym. AND WE’RE FUNDED. Raising grant funds and donations for non-profits is old skool. But what’s new is the hybridization of for-profit and non-profit components into what’s called a Social Venture.
Social Venture Defined: Profit to Share
Social ventures are entities that do business to do good. Think of them as for-profits that donate a portion of proceeds to worthy causes. Or affect needy people in a positive way. Or help our planet’s environment. Alternatively, social ventures are non-profits that create profits to fund non-profit programs. Interestingly, the legal definition of “non-profit” doesn’t mean you can’t make a profit. It simply means that you don’t pay taxes. Either way, the combo of doing good business while doing good for society is the social venture bottomline.
Case Study: BizzyB™ / BizGym® Software
Software products are particularly good ground for social ventures. They offer replicability and market scale. Our strategy for BizzyB / BizGym:
- Leverage Existing Software: We’re creating BizzyB (a non-profit app targeted to underserved kids) by re-skinning BizGym (a for-profit app targeted to adults). Both apps run off the same platform so maintenance is minimized. Leveraging an existing app saves time and costs. It also breeds confidence that the new product will be delivered.
- Provide Ways for People to Help: Many want to help doing good. A noteworthy example, Louise Ing, a BizGym Foundation Board Member and partner of Alston, Hunt, Floyd & Ing, donated pro bono legal services to draft licenses to grant our 501C3 non-profit BizGym Foundation the right to build BizzyB on the BizGym platform.
- Create Mutual Benefit: From the BizzyB side, the resulting story was tenable to The Hoag Foundation and Google so funding flowed. At the same time, BizzyB creates a pipeline of graduating students to grow into BizGym.
Moral of the Story: Practice “Reverse Bachi”
In Hawaii, we use the Japanese word “bachi” to describe karmic justice. An example: you’re playing golf with a friend and you shank the ball. Your “friend” laughs so hard that he doesn’t see a rake, steps on the end of it and as a result gets whacked in the face… that’s bachi. In other words, what goes around comes around.
Conclusion: business isn’t exempt from bachi. In fact, I suggest embracing the notion of “reverse bachi.” Look for opportunities to be helpful and a universe of possibilities unfolds. People want good. If you’re a do-gooder, many will show up to help. And BTW, that’s all that business is really about: just being helpful.