Unit 1 – Why is it a social innovation?

You can create a new idea or you can innovate, which is to rethink an idea for the purpose of social and environmental good, for example the story of Andrea Kolb a Social Entrepreneur who designs luxury handbags.

The social innovator may be wondering what makes her a Social Entrepreneur? Watch this

Social innovators need to be clear on why and how it will add Social Value as well as make money. Here is some help on articulating the value proposition.

This idea needs a market and customer base i.e. people who would be willing to pay for it. This should only be a few lines on how the product or service solves/improves problems, what benefits customers can expect and why customers should buy from them instead of the competitors?

In completion of this section, you will have a better understanding of Social Innovation and how the idea can be transformed to an enterprise.

You can support social innovators with idea creation, analysing the market and supported them in defining the value proposition.

This is a mind-mapping task for the social innovator to help them with creating the idea. Here are some examples to help, Inspiring examples of Social Innovation. Now try a mind-mapping Mind map tool.

Keeping in mind, why a social Innovation? What difference it make and what type of intervention it may include?

Research some examples of social innovation that later developed in to social enterprises. This is an example of a Social Enterprise that went wrong, Kidz Company

Explore Further

Now as part of validity testing of commercialising the social innovation, the social innovator should complete a PESTEL, a SWOT analysis and Porters five forces based on the social innovation.

We will use a case study of demographics to give the tools some context.

Many of the next generation of elderly people will be relatively wealthy – for some, it will be asset wealth, for others, with good occupational pension schemes, it will be reasonable income as well.

Many will remain in relatively good health and will want to maintain an active lifestyle for as long as is possible, and to stay independent. Goods and services that facilitate these things happening will have potential to solve this challenge/issue.

One of the greatest issues for this market is isolation and loneliness. They crave conversation and company.

Effectively, what is needed is a form of talking therapy. For example, could a pharmacy, with its trusted status, become the broker of elderly talking therapy services?

The pharmacist could source the conversational therapists, vet them through a defined process, and later, monitor the outcomes to make sure that customers are satisfied.

The user of the service would pay the pharmacy, which in turn would pay the supplier- this could be an example of a social innovation, which can be commercialized.