How social entrepreneurship can benefit from automation
Positive changes are needed for our planet and people, as the crises of our time show very impressively. But political decisions alone are not enough - it also takes innovations, ideas and new concepts to drive these positive changes. A huge opportunity for people with great visions and the starting point for social entrepreneurship.
Because a strong purpose and social or ecological added value - that is what distinguishes social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship combines entrepreneurial thinking and responsible action. This creates business models that are strongly value- and impact-oriented.
Social entrepreneurship is not so much a trend as a contribution to the challenges of our time that is here to stay. Rainer Dunkel & Christian Bubenheim, founders and managing directors of Broadcast.org from Seligenstadt near Frankfurt am Main, also know this.
During his professional career as a management consultant, Rainer often came across companies that used a lot of greenwashing and dishonest change management processes. Too much. Because, according to him, change management in particular should focus on people, dignity and respect. Values that he has been living since autumn 2020 as the founder of a social start-up.
Christian has spent his career promoting and implementing sustainable ideas and "ESG" projects at global tech companies in the US and Europe. "At some point I realised that I wanted to create more impact and change. To put sustainability and responsibility much more at the heart of corporate purpose. Rainer and I share an enthusiasm for sustainable entrepreneurship. With my experience from the online platform business, we complement each other perfectly."
But while Rainer himself was getting deeper and deeper into the topic of social entrepreneurship, he realised in conversations with those around him how little known the concept is in the wider society. Yet he sees many systemic problems as an opportunity for the economy. Especially those companies that put purpose before profit, but still act profit- and profit-oriented on the market, create a change that we urgently need.
Social entrepreneurship is oriented towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. No poverty, no hunger, gender justice, reduced injustice, peace, climate activism and eleven other goals are defined that point the way for sustainable business.
This is exactly where broadcast.org comes in. The company has set itself the task of making social entrepreneurship better known in Germany and worldwide. True to the motto "Do good and talk about it". Because more companies are needed that put purpose before profit and contribute to education, health, the environment or sustainability with innovative business models.
According to Rainer Dunkel, social entrepreneurs are still too unknown in the wider society, but generate hope and inspiration, in addition to the underlying innovation of the business. In this way, Rainer wants to create a hopeful and solution-oriented perspective for our future.
Digital business models for more value
The Broadcast.org business model is a digital product that brings together diverse parties. The core is a platform for the automated creation of a professional video, enriched with effects and visuals, in which social entrepreneurs can present themselves.
First, information about the company is requested. Then the entrepreneurs can record or upload videos that depict themselves, their purpose and their company. The footage is then automatically edited and professionally processed. The resulting video can also be used for your own website or marketing.
Behind this is a combination of tools: Typeform for retrieving the master data, Videoask for creating or uploading the video material, Moovly for further processing of the uploaded image material and Zapier, which combines all three applications mentioned and automatically creates professional videos.
In Typeform, questions are first asked about the person, the company and the company's sustainability goal in accordance with the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This is followed by a link to Videoask.
This is where things get serious: four questions are intended to provide a deeper insight into the motivations and values of the initiative: What social change would like to be solved, what the world will look like if the company succeeds, what its own superpower is and what three things would particularly help the organisation at the moment. The result is four authentic and in-depth videos.
The files are then forwarded to Moovly and processed into a single video using Zapier.
Using Zapier as an automation platform from the beginning was important for Rainer because he wants to ensure that his product is scalable. This is exactly what cloud automation is great for.
The linking of the applications used creates independent data flows that run around the clock and are reproducible. These are important points, especially for the digital product, which should combine individuality and scalability.
Because instead of collecting all the videos and then editing and cutting them independently, a self-sufficient process is created thanks to the automation with Zapier. This sets the course for the growth of the business model right from the start.
The next step will be to use the information gathered to create a web-based platform of thousands of social entrepreneurs around the world. This will be curated to ensure that the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals are met and that the platform is not misused for greenwashing.
It is intended to give entrepreneurs a stage to talk about their vision, values and path, and to promote exchange and networking. In this way, social innovations can be made known to a larger audience and support in any form can be obtained.
What comes next, according to Rainer and Christian, is very exciting and allows to implement many ideas and cooperate closely with partners not yet foreseeable: The information collected could be interesting for various organisations: On the one hand, impact investors can get a better insight into interesting business models.
Or the video creation product can be sold to other companies.
Premium models that allow impact entrepreneurs to use special broadcast.org services and offers and grow even faster.
Producing more content for major streaming platforms like Netflix can also help bring the issue even closer to the wider society. Documentaries, conferences, solution portraits or reports can help broaden the perspective.
But the two are deliberately keeping the exact path open: The founders value the agile approach more than a fixed business plan. Instead of deciding today how the next three to five years will go, the team prefers to react quickly to new developments, ideas and feedback.
Certainly, cloud automation will also help some of the way forward.
Cloud Integration, iPaaS, SaaS, BPA… Ough, hard to keep track of all these terms. They are currently used frequently (and increasingly) in the context of automation, and it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction and distinction. We have already written blog posts on the terms iPaaS, SaaS and BPA, but we’ll take them up again here to make the difference.
But let’s start with cloud integration, because that’s the central umbrella term in which we embed all the other technologies in this blog post.
To illustrate these advantages, an example is suitable that we know well from our everyday work as an automation agency:
The central data to be used here is the data of a major customer. This can be the simplest information, such as the address. This address is required in numerous but completely different processes in the company: on the one hand, for correct invoicing in accounting. On the other hand, in the CRM system, where all the data of the large customer is also stored. But the address is also important in sales, for example, when employees go to the sales meeting on site.
Now the customer announces that the address of the company has changed after a move. This information will reach you by e-mail. There are now two options:
01. The e-mail is forwarded to all affected departments, accounting, sales, customer service, marketing… All persons open their corresponding program, CRM, accounting software, marketing tools (such as newsletter marketing) and change the data already stored there of the customer. This means that in multiple applications, different people do exactly the same thing: change one address. 02. But there is also an alternative: By connecting your applications, thus by integrizing them, the customer’s e-mail, or rather the information it contains about the address change, is automatically passed on to all affected applications: CRM, accounting, marketing, ERP. This does not require any clicks, because the cloud integration detects a trigger, i.e. address change, and thus automatically starts the process.
What sounds unimpressive in a single process becomes more effective when such a process occurs several times a day or weekly. Because there is a lot of data that is available in different applications and should always be correct. If these applications are cloud applications they are suitable for cloud integration.
But cloud integration doesn’t just happen. There are now a variety of applications that enable and implement this. Such tools usually allow us to link the relevant cloud applications on a central platform and define clear rules on when, how, where, how much data should be passed on and what happens to them.
IPaaS, SaaS, BPA, ABC – who can still see through it?
To realize cloud integration, there are various applications and technologies that are sometimes used interchangeably.
Cloud integration cannot be done without SaaS, iPaaS and BPA
Cloud integration is rather an umbrella term that includes numerous technologies, such as SaaS, iPaaS and BPA, and this is also absolutely necessary. Cloud integration is a concept that is made possible by appropriate technologies.
However, all terms share the commonality that they are cloud-based and thus offer enormous potential for growth and scaling. In addition, they are often cheaper to implement and maintain because changed requirements are easy to implement.
As an independent automation agency, we implement cloud integration according to your requirements. We use a variety of SaaS tools and iPaas (strictly speaking BPA) software. Together we find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.