Combining the experience of running the DM2006 award winning social enterprise: Ideas-at-Work (IaW), the knowledge acquired with the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) program (2007), and her recent completion of an MBA (2012), Angelique Smit decided to found the Social Enterprise Support initiative, a network group that provides support and advice to fellow social entrepreneurs in a variety of areas.
Created after intense consultation with social entrepreneurs about their support needs in their path to build successful business models, Social Enterprise Support (SE-Support) emerged as a place where social entrepreneurs from all over the world find fellow social-minded entrepreneurs for a sounding board, bouncing ideas, brainstorming or advice.
The SE-Support team is currently comprised of around 14 entrepreneurs and industry experts in areas such as organization development, personal development, operational challenges, finance, administration, marketing, sales, human resources, strategic thinking, public relations, social media, ICT and ISO/HACCP/VCA-certification and growing.
A key component of SE-support is building a community of like-minded partners where learning from each other’s successes and failures is encouraged. SE-Support provides specialized expertise to assist in challenges that only social entrepreneurs face such as finding a balance between social and financial goals and determining the business model that works best for each situation. SE-Support works with all players in the social enterprise space including donors, foundations, impact investors and entrepreneurs.
Angelique Smit is the owner and managing director of IaW, a social enterprise that manufactures and sells rope water pumps in Cambodia. IaW closed 2012 with almost 75% more sales than the previous year before and, as a consequence of the work done by IaW, over 250,000 Cambodians have now access to easy and cleaner water.