How to Define Social Entrepreneurship
How do you define social entrepreneurship? Is it a tangible quality, something you can put your hands on or point out in the ledger books? Or is it more of an idea, one that permeates and helps define every decision a company makes? The purpose of 602 Communications and the Red Goldfish project is to showcase purpose driven companies that work for social change. Today we will focus on the Boston Beer Company. This is an established company with a history of doing things its own way. Boston Beer does more to promote craft beer and microbreweries than just about any other corporation.
Boston Beer and Samuel Adams
The Boston Beer company brews Samuel Adams, one of the most popular craft beers on the market. This eclectic company and its activities help define social entrepreneurship. The company offers a great product and promotes small businesses.
Samuel Adams began as a small home operation. Founder Jim Koch began making his own craft beer in 1984. Since then, Boston Beer and Samuel Adams have grown into a huge, purpose driven, for profit corporation with a goal of helping small business owners achieve their goals.
Brewing the American Dream
The program Boston Beer created to help aspiring entrepreneurs is called Brewing The American Dream. Their participants are chefs, cooks, beer brewers and other aspiring food service professionals. For some of these business owners, funding is very difficult. Banks often turn them away because they do not have the credit history or track record they need. In addition to funding, many small businesses need help with day-to-day operations. The owners may be experts at their craft, but they do not always know how to run a business. This is where Boston Beer and the Brewing the American Dream program come in.
Boston Beer’s non-profit lending partner, Accion, gives these food entrepreneurs access to microloans they can use to hire employees, build new facilities, expand their product lines, or market their products.
The Impact of a Small Business
Another way to define social entrepreneurship is in the effect a company has on the area and people around it. Small businesses can become hubs of activity in the places they serve. People meet and forge new relationships and networks. Friends meet each other for a beer, pizza, burger or other great refreshment. Small business owners create engaging experiences with social media and other tools. To make all this possible, Boston Beer offers speed coaching and experienceship programs.
Through speed coaching, small business owners learn about sales and distribution, package design, legal tips, branding and many other business topics. The Brewing and Business Experienceship is a hands-on educational program. Each year, one craft brewer is able to participate.
Crafting a Legacy
With its commitment to growing small businesses, and its love of craft beer and brewing, Boston Beer helps to define social entrepreneurship for other companies. The company is able to promote its own Samuel Adams products, but also provides resources for small businesses so they can grow. Boston Beer takes its social responsibility seriously. It is a great example of a social entrepreneur company, because helping others is its DNA.
Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams beer, was interviewed in the studio of CBS This Morning and talked about the craft brewing industry.