Welcome to our next method profile! Our previous entry focused on using multi-purpose arrangement in social enterprise. In operating any venture, everything flows from your approach, and identifying a proper method helps you effectively fulfill your team’s initiative.
Together, we’ll be profiling interesting social enterprises to discuss an anchor method in their strive for social good. The term “anchor method” is to express the intentional and grounded nature of the approaches propelling a social enterprise forward.
This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise initiative improvements.
In today’s post, we’ll look into ethical fashion brand Celebrate EDU leveraging niche description. This stylish social enterprise sells fashion with the community in mind first.
Knowing the Company: Celebrate EDU
Jenny Anderson’s care towards her brother helped inspire the Celebrate EDU. She watched as her brother met a not-so-kind world as they both grew up, and saw how less accommodating the world was in adulthood. Jenny’s brother, Brent, struggled to find employment that flowed well with needs presented by disability. Brent and their mom were determined to find a suitable position for Brent. After persevering, Brent was able to publish a book and arrange speaking engagements to explain his experience being on the autism spectrum.
Jenny was touched watching Brent’s journey to his purpose unfold before her eyes. His beautiful journey made Jenny sure about her aim to start a nonprofit for young adults on the autism spectrum.
Celebrate EDU hosts live courses and online courses that are mostly free. Class topics include, self-advocacy, resume building, problem solving, and more. Their signature course is Spark 101, which helps learners to find proper work. The course costs, but Celebrate EDU does boast about scholarships for their programming.
The organization also provides training and tools for others wanting to implement the course material in their own programs.
For reference, Celebrate EDU is listed as a 501(c)3 non-profit. The initiative earns money and receives donations. Listen to our episode with Omar Elhagmusa and Paul Bryson on why “non-profits can’t make money” is a myth. You might find that going non-profit aligns with your initiative.
Identifying your “Niche”
Many heard the term “niche” in a majority of society’s content creation, marketing, and audience building discussions. Actually, the term stems from science, but the essence of the meaning is the same. We can describe a niche as a specific role played to fulfill a certain set of needs. In marketing, this relates to a product serving a specific audience. Imagine the difference between describing the following:
- Fiction Book vs Sci-Fi Young Adult Fiction Novel
- Yoga Membership for Couples with no Children vs Yoga Membership for Parents of Teens
The choice with a more descriptive definition of the niche draws a more specific crowd. Altered descriptions will entice a different crowd. Being descriptive attracts an audience that already has a greater chance of interest. Why? People feel that they know more about what they are signing up for and can determine if they will enjoy participating. People are measuring if what they see relates to themselves.
If there is a college freshman currently not dating, they most likely will ignore both Yoga Membership options.
Identifying a niche makes decisions easier since you are making it clear who you are addressing, and also making it easier for the people to find you. Niche description clarifies identity the same way audience awareness clarifies communication style.
Celebrate EDU found their niche, which helps their initiative stand out, thrive, and provide incredible value to a fitting audience.
Shed Light & Share Light
Choosing a niche can become a process of overthinking. There are initiatives that are stuck in this phase, thinking about defining the “perfect” persona. Jenny created an education initiative helping young adults on the autism spectrum that are currently seeking entry into the workforce to live more independent, fulfilled lives. Reading this description, Celebrate EDU seems to know their “perfect” persona.
One of the things that seem to make it easy to build this particular niche description is that Jenny has a direct personal story, or personal attachment, to the initiative’s purpose. She took a journey she witnessed first hand (Brent’s story), she saw the value in recreating that journey for others, and she found a way to help people similar to Brent complete that journey.
Highlight a specific issue for a specific audience that may not always get a spotlight. Similar to building an audience profile, you are building with a persona in mind. How far can you break down that persona? That sole persona, becomes the anchor for how you present the initiative and determine initiative operations.
An anchor based on niche description can create an easier guide in your operations, and allow you to cultivate your own path. As an experiment, trace your story back to where your initiative idea began. What influenced you? Is there a personal story or personal attachment to the purpose?
If you can’t think of a specific story to base your niche towards, try brainstorming in the space between your initiative and the persona. Decide the service you will provide, then write a brief story of someone interacting with your service. Think of alterations to add, adjust, or subtract based on a scenario that plays out for the persona(s). Once you’re done, you can try implementing a test run for real feedback.
Celebrate EDU’s clear niche description completes this profile.
People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community is a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check-in for more.