Rare artisanal cheese production, eco-friendly laundry and vegan lunch delivery—these are just three creative ideas that have evolved into successful social business models.

At last week’s Meet the Entrepreneurs, we heard three up-and-coming social entrepreneurs talk about their experiences with starting and expanding their businesses:

Moderated by SiG Practice Advisor, Vicki Saunders, the panelists detailed their experiences in upscaling their business models and the unexpected challenges they faced in the startup period, gave tips on assembling a great team with diverse skills, offered the secrets to networking and more.

When it came time for the Q & A, most questions were about money and finance. While some will argue that “money is the root of all evil,” let’s not kid ourselves: it’s absolutely crucial in every stage of your business plan.

From dipping into personal funds, to attracting investors, and dealing with debt financing, the panelists all had different experiences to talk about. However, I believe Petra Kassun-Mutch said it best: “People don’t like startups in the beginning stage… so it was about leveraging whatever you own [personal assets]. And once you have something to show halfway through the construction, then you can get some other money.”

Do you think you have an innovative and unique idea that you can turn into a successful business model, while still keeping a social agenda? Check out the video to learn more about how these entrepreneurs undertook the challenge.

And if you’re looking for some advice and networking opportunities, you’re always welcome to contact us at the SiG@MaRS practice!

Watch this Quick Hits video:

To watch the entire lecture, click here.

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Kelvin Ngan

Kelvin is a SiG@MaRS Associate and makes sure clients have a great experience with the SiG Practice. See more…