Two business owners joined the USPAACC webinar titled ‘A New Business Model: Social Entrepreneurship’ to share their experiences in the field. Both of their ventures have focused on giving back to society; it’s part of their business model. They are in the business of solving social problems.
In the case of Hewett Chiu, Co-founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, President & CEO of Academy of Medical & Public Health Services (AMPHS); and Executive Managing Partner at the Chiu Group, he saw first hand the need to supply healthcare services to the immigrant population. This personal experience made him want to take action.
During the webinar, Hewett described the process of forming a social enterprise and how he decided on a legal structure. Today there are new options available to social entrepreneurs like the L3C and Benefit Corporation that allow the business to communicate its focus on social pursuits, instead of just maximizing shareholder wealth. Since the value is not only seen in dollars, social ventures need to focus on the mission, vision, and theory of change to communicate value.
Lily Liu, Co-Founder of PublicStuff, was recently named one of Forbes' 30 under 30' top entrepreneurs and Business Insiders people to watch. She joined the webinar to tell the story of PublicStuff, a mobile application used in over 100 cities and growing. By applying standard business practices to solve social problems, Lily has been able to develop a valuable platform for citizens to interact in meaningful ways with their local governments. Whether it’s a pothole, or during a natural disaster, PublicStuff allows for a real time interaction that users have come to expect. Lily also talked about enterprise adoption and provided some more examples of other social ventures that are using mobile platforms to solve social problems