Asking One Question can Change an Old Idea into an Innovative Social Enterprise Business



Welcome to our next method profile about Goodly! Our previous entry focused on using Long-haul Projection 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 the financially savvy Goodly leveraging Modern Replicate Technique. Goodly eases the burden of repayment through employee benefits.

Knowing the Company: Goodly

Based in San Francisco, Goodly works with employers to offer student debt relief within employee benefit programs. The initiative, founded by Greg Poulin and Hemant Verma, creates an automated system for employers to help their employees finish loan repayment earlier. Goodly’s suggested model starts employers at contributing $100 towards repayment with a $6/month fee per employee.

The company began in 2018, and gained traction from high authority media, such as Forbes and TechCrunch. The initiative also received support from Y Combinator, and raised a $1.3 million seed round led by Norwest.

Student debt continues to be a growing crisis. For the generation that buys homes later, it’s not hard to see why this benefit appeals to employees. On Goodly’s homepage, the text states that “86% of employees say they’d stay with a company at least 5 years with this benefit.”

Goodly provides service for a range of clients. The client base stretches from big corporations all the way to nonprofits. Any entity with a payroll could offer the student debt employee benefit. 

Start Great Ideas By Upgrading Ideas

Thinking out a business plan can be daunting, but the most time consuming task is usually the business idea. You may know what you want to focus on, however, figuring out how to address the issue is a different concern.

Greg Poulin knew he wanted to focus on the student debt crisis. He shared with Forbes that he borrowed $80,000 for college at Dartmouth University after the unexpected passing of his father. Now, he pays $900 per month on his student loans. An idea to focus on changing the student debt crisis came naturally from his personal experience, but he still needed to figure out the “What”. 

Plenty of ideas are upgrades, add-ons, or modern renditions of great ideas that already exist. Think of Uber, Lyft, or any other number of ride share services. Ride share services provide the flexibility of taxis, but added accessibility and convenience. People don’t need to battle each other to flag down a ride. The ride can be requested at-will, and a driver picks the person up from the desired location.

Another classic example is the evolution of telecommunication devices. Cell phones have all the capabilities of a landline phone, but added mobility. Computers and cellphones inspired many of the technological advances we have today, such as tablets or the Apple Watch.

Goodly is a great example of timeliness, and adding onto an existing idea. Student debt is a major concern being discussed in the current world. The idea of employee benefits joined the corporate world long ago, and continues to be used as a method of employee retention. Goodly combined a current need into an existing framework to create a modern replicate.

Adapting from an existing idea is similar to when you hear a marketer say, “It’s like ____ , but for ____”. Goodly’s service is like a 401k, but for adults wanting to repay their student debt faster.

As a testament to this point, Goodly’s homepage states that 49% of millennials prefer student loan benefits over a 401k contribution.

The World We Live In

Let’s double down on this concept of “timeliness” in the Modern Replicate Technique. Being aware of how you modernize an idea can be great for inspiration and creativity. You have a base idea to start from, and then, you ask questions to take the idea a step further. Amazingly, the cushion of a pre-established idea is not the only benefit of leaning toward a timely idea.

Timely ideas are usually received positively since they anticipate a current issue that lacks a fitting solution. Goodly unlocked a new way of addressing a concern that is now widely common. In this, a modern idea has an advantage in how the current world is developing.

During the pandemic, Goodly caught a favorable moment through the CARES Act. Financial stability, the economy, employee retention, and student debt are issues that spiked during 2020. With the CARES Act, employers can offer the student debt employee benefit tax free for the first time. This makes the benefit more similar to a 401k  literally, as opposed to our previous simile comparison.

Goodly became a small way to release or address these concerns that recently took a spontaneous turn.

As you may know, stories typically have more than one side. Always be mindful that “timely” is not necessarily predictable.  The concept of “timely” also changes quite frequently on a smaller scale. You never know when an idea could become less “timely” from a decrease in demand, or from being out-done by another idea. Then again, that’s why we should strive to improve our services as we develop.

Applicable Takeaway 

An anchor-based on Modern Replicate Technique is proof that you don’t need a 100% original idea to start your social enterprise. When you get a chance, take notes about one thing you would add to a service as you use different services throughout your day. Doing this exercise will help you ask better questions on how to modernize, enhance, or advance an existing idea.

Goodly’s right-on-time Modern Replicate Technique 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 conversation-starting content.

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