During the Big Impact panel discussion hosted by Women Property Network panels delved into their passion for social entrepreneurship in its many forms.
All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
Going green and offering socially uplifting developments are growing in popularity amongst investors and buyers. If you want your business to not only create buildings but also make an impact you should incorporate social entrepreneurship techniques into your commercial property business. Keep in mind that if you don’t deliver what the market expects they will find someone else who will.
Social entrepreneurship can be about creating an impact with job creation, developing green buildings or even creating properties that are in need and will help members of society. Additionally with the world becoming more connected, customers are looking for developers to create social aware and supportive buildings.
Here are three examples of how you can implement social entrepreneurship in your property development company:
1. Purposeful job creation
Fundi Mazibuko, Fullserve explains that when she was working in corporate she realised that although she and her immediate family were doing well, her extended family were jobless. So she and her husband decided to open a business of their own:
Related: New property models can create new investment opportunities
“I wanted to start a business that’s going to impact them. We wanted to create a business that could create opportunities for others. To date we employ almost 1300 employees, you know that each person proudly supports 6 other people.”
Keep in mind that whenever you expand your business it is not only creating employment opportunities but also creating an impact on those around you.
2. Green buildings
Dorah Modise from Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) explains how she’s always been passionate about the environment and focuses as much as she could. She says: “Green building space, it is a pleasant environment to be in, besides the fact that it is more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Green buildings and green environments increase our productivity by 60% higher, as well as being more cost-effective in the long run, which means more money for your business. Which brings us back to the question you need to keep asking yourself is there something more we can do?”
The GBCSA have developed a green star rating system to determine the environmentally friendliness of your building. If the building isn’t environmentally friendly enough your customers will receive fines. Consider why your customers would willingly be fined if they can go to someone else who’s complying?
3. Meeting the needs of the market
Lusanda Netshitenzhe from TUHF says that her company has been practising social entrepreneurship before the term was even coined. She explains: “It’s about making the decision up front to be a profitable business that also helps people, which is why we’ve invested in property; this allows us to offer the youth housing opportunity in the inner city.”
Related: If the local property market’s troubling you it’s time you go global
Her company is creating strategic housing for the youth who work in Sandton to only have to take one taxi to work every day, but still be able to afford a nice place to live. Many small steps create a large impact and this initiative will change the lives of these people.
Your business can make a socially conscious impact; whether it be on the employees who work for you, or improving the environment with greener buildings or sewing together a happier society by focusing on uplifting and socially aware projects.
- Enrich people’s lives by expanding your business and creating job opportunities.
- Develop greener buildings to improve our impact on the environment.
- Focus on socially aware projects to help different markets to live life to the fullest.