Founder of the Month October: enspire UG / sunsteps.org

Sunsteps_Logo_180With its platform sunsteps.org, the company enspire UG supports social projects. When purchasing from one of the many partner shops of Sunsteps, such as Amazon, Zalando, or Thalia, up to 12% of the purchase sum is donated to the selected social project, with just one click and without much effort. There is no catch and the customer doesn’t pay a single added cent. The founding team of Sunsteps wants to make the world a little bit better by enabling anyone to support social projects every day without much effort. In an interview, we asked Maximilian Brandenburger of sunsteps.org about the idea, the startup time, and the future prospects.

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Maximilian Brandenburger from Sunsteps.org

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Improve the world with one click

The KIT spin-off Enspire UG implements “social entrepreneurship”: affiliate marketing for the good cause

 

Mitgründer von Enspire UG: Maximilian Brandenburger

Social commitment is extremely important for Maximilian Brandenburger. Even before he started studying, he gathered a lot of experience in the social area. As a student of industrial engineering at the KIT finally one thing led to the next: together with three other KIT students, he founded the firm Enspire UG in 2011, which maintains the platform sunsteps.org. “‘sun’ stands for positive thoughts and helpfulness, ‘step’ describes the little steps of the individual users, whose many small contributions can do good step by step,” Maximilian explains.

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Know-how for Social Entrepreneurs – free online course as of October 20th, 2014

Matching our Tag of the Month “Social Entrepreneurship“, we have discovered an extensive online course for aspiring social entrepreneurs by iversity. Prof. Dr. Christoph Corves and Dr. Linda Kleemann from the University of Kiel provide the free online course Changemaker MOOC – Social Entrepreneurship as of October 20th, 2014. They show how to address social problems from an entrepreneurial point of view.

The course is open to anyone who wants to develop an initial idea for a social project into a specific project concept. It does not matter in which social field the project will be realized. The online course Changemaker MOOC – Social Entrepreneurship works on the principle of “practice rather than theory” – no experience is necessary. Step by step, the participants are guided to their own project. Within ten working packages or chapters, you get conceptual content that is complemented by practical modules. The central learning contents are explained with the help of short videos. At the end of the course, participants should be able to solve social problems in an entrepreneurial manner and to plan real projects.

Are you currently working on the business solution for a social problem? Are you thinking of founding a social enterprise? Then this online course might help you in deciding for a founding and in building your social startup! Sign up for the online course and gain know-how important for social entrepreneurs.

Tag of the Month: Social Entrepreneurship

Many people associate entrepreneurship and founding with financial success and business growth – economic company goals are paramount here. The startup scene shows that there may be other values at a founding. Social Entrepreneurship is a topic one encounters more often and so-called social startups draw attention to themselves. The focus of the founding is not profit maximization but social goals are in the forefront. Social Entrepreneurship – what is it about and what ideals lie behind it?

The term “Social Entrepreneurship” describes entrepreneurial activities in which social problems are to be solved by using a business-oriented approach. Instead of the profit concept, innovative and long-term solutions or improvement of social skills and the fulfillment of the social mission are in the foreground – so to speak, entrepreneurship for the benefit of society. The field of activity of social entrepreneurs mainly includes health, education, and environmental protection, as well as social, environmental, and corporate development.

At first glance, this model does not appear very promising. Therefore, the question is how a company works when the financial success is not one of the main objectives of the company? Social enterprises are financed, in addition to the income of the corporation, mostly through donations, grants, and funds received from the public purse. Despite the profit concept being put in the background, measurable objectives on a financial basis are relevant. Depending on the business model, one can distinguish between non-profit and for-profit companies. However, they both have the solution of social problems on a financially sustainable way in common.

The employees are also an important factor in this social corporate form. For success on a social and financial level, a high degree of commitment is necessary. In order to nevertheless create incentives for employees, social startups often provide special development opportunities for the individual employee such as space for your own projects, coaching offers, or the prospect of part-time studying.

In Karlsruhe, there are also social entrepreneurs. For example, the KIT spin-off Sunsteps.org in the field of donations. With its online platform, it enables the donations for selected projects while you shop online with their partners. Soon, you can learn even more about Sunsteps.org here. Continue reading

Use the summer slump – Founder competitions invite you to join!

Currently, there is the break between semesters and summer is also not at its best. This leaves enough time to have a closer look at one’s own business idea. Do you currently have a startup in mind and are just fine-tuning your business plan? Would you like to have independent feedback and new ideas from experienced representatives of industry? Then now is the opportunity to do so! Take part in one of the many founder competitions.

Some calls for proposals will expire in the next few weeks and are just waiting for your idea! We will present a few current founder competitions to you here so you can start right away.

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