SENIOR DIVISION ONLY!
WHAT IS A BUSINESS?
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘business’? You might think of a local farm stand, a grocery store, a bank, or a big technology company like Facebook or WhatsApp.
A business is any organization or person that is doing something in exchange for money or another good.
- make, buy, or sell goods (like a company that makes cars)
- provide services (such as a mobile phone service company).
There are many young people who have started their own businesses. For example, Megan Yap, a Technovation alumna from Malaysia, started her own business, Melli Studio, selling stickers online.
Usually we think of a business as a way to make money, which is your profit.
Businesses can have other goals besides making money.
Social goals, like
- helping feed hungry people
- providing students with a better education.
Business goals, like
- creating eco-friendly products
- providing customers with the best product possible
All business have one thing in common; they need some way to bring in money so that they can continue to operate.
There are three main types of businesses – for profit, non-profit, and social enterprise.
FOR PROFIT BUSINESSES
For-profit businesses focus on earning a profit by selling goods or services. They can also have goals, such as creating the best products possible or having great customer service.
Non-profits exist to help solve a problem or contribute to a cause. They do not have the goal of making money.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE BUSINESSES
Social enterprises focus on doing something beyond making a profit, like helping solve a social issue. They use some of the profit they make to accomplish this goal.
You don’t need to have all the answers today but it is important to keep thinking of these as you build your business plan. You can always change the type of business as you further develop your project solution and business plan!
Your business goal really is to solve the problem that you identified, but you will also need money so that you can keep the business running or scale it up (grow its size and impact).
Stay true to the original goal of your business by staying close to your company’s mission statement.
A mission statement is a formal summary of the values of a company, organization, or individual.
Mission statements help companies determine what is important and what is not, and clearly state who will be served and how.
A mission statement is usually a short and simple sentence that outlines the organization’s purpose and how it accomplishes that purpose.
Your mission statement is the “heart” of your business.
It helps to look at mission statements for other organizations for inspiration. See some examples below.
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
You have accomplished a lot as you start to develop your business plan. Consider these questions:
REVIEW OF KEY TERMS
- Business – any organization or person that is doing something in exchange for money or another good
- Profit – money made from operating a business
- Non-profit – a company that has a goal other than making money
- Social Enterprise – a business that focuses on doing something beyond making a profit, like helping solve a social issue
- For Profit – a company that has the goal to make money
- Mission Statement – a formal summary of the values of a company, organization, or individual
Here’s a short video explaining more about social enterprises.