Physician entrepreneurs are medical professionals who pursue opportunities under conditions of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity with the goal of creating stakeholder defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model.
Some physician entrepreneurs do that by starting a company, running a practice or being an employed intrapreneur. Others do it by creating a non-profit enterprise to improve the human condition, like helping to solve food insecurity, homelessness or disparate global health outcomes. There is certainly no shortage of problems to solve. The UN has a few suggestions.
Should you decide to go down the road of social entrepreneurship, there are several things you should keep in mind:
1. Be sure you have a compelling value proposition that differentiates you from all the rest trying to solve the same problem or doing it in a way that no one else is doing.
2. Start with the "why", not the what and the how.
3. Be sure you have a mission-driven business model canvas with valid assumptions.
4. Build a strong community.
5. Celebrate the beneficiaries, members, funders and donors, not your organization.
6. Excel at branding, marketing and telling your story that speaks to the heart, not the head. Here is how to create a brilliant LinkedIn profile as a social entrepreneur.
7. Make it personal but don't take it personally.
8. Have a robust IT infrastructure that will support your CRM, communications, membership and fundraising efforts.
9. Stay lean.
10. Here's how to build a 30,000 member LinkedIn group.
11. Non-profit does not mean no profit. Run it like any other business.
12. Focus on outcomes and impact and key results.
13. Pick the right IRS defined non-profit organizational entity.
14. Pick the right members for your board and clarify expectations.
15. Build lasting partnerships and collaborations.
Here is what happens when one non-profit collides with another.
Physician social entrepreneurs are making a difference around the world, particularly during turbulent times. You can too.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Facebook.