By: Eddie Frausto
Atticus LeBlanc, Dominick Ardi, and Joey Womack are all social entrepreneurs. They have dedicated their lives to work that will benefit our communities and the world at large. This livestream discussion reveals years of their personal and professional ventures in social entrepreneurship. Though they each have different revenue models, all of their models allow the audience to see how they can impact the world too.
All three speakers shared the reasons behind starting their companies, and the reason why they chose to be social entrepreneurs. Atticus entered the housing market because he wanted to create more affordable housing opportunities for low-income workers in the community. Dominick Ardi created the ACT House, a house affordable communal living with a team-centered incubation model to reduce startups failure rates and accelerate the ethnic diversity in the world of startups and entrepreneurship. Joey Womack of Goodie Nation, is a national support nonprofit for tech-focused social entrepreneurs and diverse founders.
Throughout the Q & A Panel, the entrepreneurs shared their ideologies and on how to successfully set-up and start a social entrepreneurship company. First, they all shared making a difference in the community whether you choose a for profit or non-profit business structure. “A for-profit company doesn’t mean that a company is bad.” Dominick said that the intentions of your company is what is crucial to helping people, so no matter what route you take for business structure, the end goal is to create a positive social impact. Regarding revenue models, they agreed that at the end of the day all are a direct correlation to the impact that you are making in the community.
“New social entrepreneurs should have their message in one sentence.” Atticus recommends this advice to upcoming entrepreneurs because to be able to consolidate a company’s purpose to one message will clarify the company’s mission. Joey added on to Atticus’s statement saying that people should know their markets and metrics to serve the communities they are intending to help. If communication internally within a company and externally with the beneficiaries of the service is not active, then resources are wasted by not supplying the key components that the beneficiaries truly need.
Lastly, the panel concluded with company culture and relationship management. All three veterans agreed that revenue models come in different aspects within companies and are not solely based on money. The holistic success of your mission and company will allow you to create the most meaningful social impact possible. “I learned to say no to clients, even though they were big companies like Coke and Google” bringing in revenue isn’t your only priority Joey emphasized. Knowing the direction of your company will better suit you for the long haul, this way you know how to best maximize the money you bring in. “Take care of yourself before going after other people.” Atticus made sure to stress the importance of not placing a massive burden on your shoulders. Chasing too much and burning yourself out in the long haul is not a good practice to keep. Dominick added to their closing remarks by saying, “Surround yourself with a supportive community, determine the costs for you to survive and thrive.” He added that a company culture is important, and knowing what will keep the company alive in terms of revenue and staff to the maximum amount of outreach you can have.
Many thanks to the Andrew Young School of Public Policy’s Social Entrepreneurship Club for hosting this event.
To view the two videos covering this livestream, visit our YouTube channel and subscribe:
Part 1 – What is Social Entrepreneurship to you?
Part 2 – What advise do you have for future entrepreneurs?