What Social Entrepreneurs Must Know About Building Apps

Data on millennials’ behavior show that we care much more than past generations about supporting and working for companies that are doing good in the world.

With over 53.5 million millennial workforce in the US – more than one-third, social entrepreneurship needs to get some attention.

How mobile apps are carving the path for social entrepreneurs?

The power of mobile apps is amazing.

They are everywhere and they touch every aspect of our lives.

According to data from Nielsen, 89% of time spent on any kind of media (social network, email, news) is through mobile apps.

The data from Yahoo’s Flurry analytics shows that 90% of consumer’s mobile time is spent in apps.

Now, this will ring the “mobile first” bell in anyone’s head.

Saving the world one startup at a time

Chase Adam, an under-30 social entrepreneur, realized that the non-profit space was underfunded, full of bureaucratic red tape, and just wasn’t efficient enough.

He felt that amid all of the crowdsourcing services in the marketplace (such as Kickstarter), there is still a need for a better crowdfunding service which can help those in developing countries.

And thus, Watsi was formed, first crowdfunding site where donors can directly fund high-impact medical care for people in need. Watsi is also the first non-profit to receive funding from Y Combinator.

Milena Bottero is another inspiring example. Her online Room for Tea, set up when she was 22, is a network that connects interns and apprentices who need short-term, affordable housing with an older generation of hosts who want the company.

Social entrepreneurship is gaining momentum. These entrepreneurs who took the path less-travelled are also creating jobs, growing the economy, and ultimately changing the world.

Jason Haber, author of Busines of Good, points out the key distinguisher between and entrepreneur and a social entrepreneur,

An entrepreneur is in business to deliver a bottom-line profit for serving a market in a better or more efficient manner. Social entrepreneurs have a triple bottom line to consider: people, planet, and profit. They’re not looking to solve an immediate problem. Instead, they’re looking for a scalable wholesale change to the underlying condition that led to the problem.”

How mobile apps can transform social entrepreneurship?

#1 Accessible – In the era of internet and the smartphones, we carry the world on our palms, literally. App stores are growing by over 1,000 apps per day. Looking at the accessibility and reach of mobile apps, businesses are now turning towards mobile apps for a better reach and scalability.

#2 Monetization – Even if you are socially-minded businesses still you need to generate revenue, pay employees and provide services. Having a mobile app for your business can get the revenues churning. The revenues generated can be put in business to scale further. There are many ways mobile apps can make money, here are a few.

#3  Better visibility and discoverability – App stores are a huge platform to reach out to people. Last year in January, people downloaded more than 10.3 million a day — setting a new record. Having a mobile app can give your business the required push.

#4 Targeted solutions – Apps give you an option to launch locally. In fact, you can start with a hyper-local market and then widen your reach. But whatever may be the case, you can reach to very specific and targeted markets through mobile apps.

#5 Create a community – Any social cause needs support. Mobile apps can be your way to start building a community and make people aware about the cause.

#6 Engagement – No platform can beat mobile apps in terms of engagement. If you have a well-designed and well-thought mobile app, the users will not only be active but will also retain and engage in more conversations.

How social entrepreneurs are using mobile apps to bring a change?

Social entrepreneurs are leveraging mobile apps to make a change in society or fight for a cause. The interesting part is they are just not making a social impact, but also profits. These good samaritans are definitely an inspiration. Check out some of these apps from social entrepreneurs:

These good samaritans are definitely an inspiration. Check out some of these apps from social entrepreneurs:

#1 eGood

eGood is a mobile payment and customer loyalty app with a charitable twist.

The app connects communities, companies and causes to bring purpose to profit, helping businesses grow, and create awareness and funding for causes.

It lets users donate to local and national charities while paying for goods and services at local businesses. It was officially chosen by TechCrunch as “one of the top startups to emerge out of Startup Alley”.

successful social entrepreneurs

#2 Feedie

Feedie lets you share your passion for food with others. So, the users download the app connect their social networks. When they visit a participating Feedie restaurant, they can use Feedie to take and share a photo of their meal. The restaurant makes a donation equal to one meal to The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization that provides meals to school children in South Africa.

best social entrepreneurs apps

#3 Charity Miles

This app gets money with your every move, literally. The app donates money to charity every time you run or bike.

With this app, if you walk your dog, grab a coffee, go for a run, bike around the neighborhood, shovel some snow, you’ll help earn money for charity and feel great all day!

The app uses your phone’s GPS to track your exercise. Each time you open it up, you pick a charity. While the app is open, they show you an ad from the sponsor donating the money.best charity apps

#4 Micro Hero

MicroHero is a free app for iPhone that lets you earn real money for the causes you care about. Once you download the app you will start answering survey questions. With each response, you earn real dollars for your favorite non‑profit.

best apps for social causes

#5 The Good Guide

The GoodGuide app helps shoppers make socially responsible purchase decisions. It evaluates products based on specific criteria: its eco-friendliness, health impact, and social responsibility.

The app instantly reveals whether products are safe, healthy, green and socially responsible. The app’s barcode scanning software lets you quickly access social ratings for over 170,000 products. You can also choose the issues you care about most.

charity through apps

Final words

Looking at these awesome ambassadors of social change, the future looks to be in good hands. If you also have the zeal to change the world with your social entrepreneurship skills with a tech product, you can let us know and we will be happy to help you!

Nidhi Shah
 

Nidhi is the head of content marketing at Arkenea, a mobile app consultancy building experience rich apps for startups and businesses.