Social enterprises and success
Break down the social enterprise barriers
Frustrated with lack of access to everyday products that have a purpose, Nandeeta Maharaj took matters into her own hands and started Goods for Good, a platform that gives customers access to everyday products that when you buy them, the added benefit of addressing some of the social and environmental issues in Australia and the world.
Nandita joins us on Mumbition today to share more about her inspiring purpose and what it takes behind the scenes to create a social enterprise.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey and your business Goods for Good?
“Yes. So, I'm a marketer by trade, but the last four years of my career, I ended up working for Zambrero, which is one of the fastest growing quick service restaurants. For every meal they sell, they donate a meal. I was able to see the full chain of events from selling a meal at a restaurant, all the way to feeding someone in a country where they were living below the poverty line. After seeing the impact just one determined social enterprise made, after that role ended, I was surprised to see that there were so many social enterprises in Australia, but no central place where people could buy from them.
Since then, there have been a few, but not a platform that focuses specifically on social enterprises. So, I launched Goods for Good, which is an online platform where people can buy according to their values. I have everything from soap, to toilet paper, to jewelry, to candles. So there's a huge range of products and it's trying to encourage people to buy according to their values.”
What makes it [a business] classified as a social enterprise? Are there certain requirements?
“Yes, there are. It's a great question because you've got Fairtrade, you've got B Corp and then you've got social enterprises. What makes social enterprises different is they trade like a normal business. They make a profit, but they either donate part of the profit to the cause that they're trying to impact or they employ people who would otherwise not have that opportunity.”
How would you describe the biggest challenge for this particular sector at the moment?
“The biggest challenge personally though I face with Goods for Good, is the education part around social enterprises.I think most people understand what social enterprises are, that they know that these are businesses for good, but there is a deeper level to this. The whole social enterprise sector and all the issues that they're trying to impact, it is so complicated, there's so many layers to it. So, I think that is my challenge.
I'm trying to look at all these different causes and each one has all these layers.Then, when I'm trying to explain to people what a social enterprise is, what they're trying to do, I find that quite challenging personally. So, there is one definition that the whole sector uses, which is basically businesses that earn a profit, but they are making the world a better place, as simple as that.”
How would you describe your relationship with risk in business?
“I am risk averse with this business. As you said, I have never run a business before, so I have got three layers. My first layer is I'm a startup, I'm a founder, sole founder. Secondly, you add a layer of competing in a really loud marketplace, the e-commerce marketplace, you've got a lot of big players in there, so competing within that. Then to top it off, you add a layer of social entrepreneurship, which is an impact driven mindset, it is very challenging.
I try not to take risks at this stage of my business because I'm learning at a ferocious speed. I've been in this business for a year and I'm learning, executing, learning, executing, and I'm doing it to the best of my ability without investing too much because I think this is a long game for me, because the education for social enterprises is definitely out there, it's definitely starting. But I need to move with the pace of that education, so I'm trying to make sure I minimize my risk at this stage.”
Want to know more about how Nandeeta Maharaj can help you break down the social enterprise barriers?
Want your business to make a deeper impact but you’re not sure where to start? Want to know how you can make more conscious purchasing decisions to positively impact the lives of others? Curious about social enterprises and the valuable work they do?
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