If you’re just starting out as a social entrepreneur, it’s likely that you’re always looking for inspiration. Finding success as a social entrepreneur is no easy task. It’s helpful to see how other entrepreneurs navigated the business world. Reading a book is one of the best ways to gain inspiration. Plus, books offer more than just inspiration. They can point out potential mistakes to avoid, strategies to utilize, and a host of other things. Below is a list of some of the must-read books for social entrepreneurs.
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
Yvon Chouinard is one of the most important names in social entrepreneurship. In 1973 he started Patagonia—way before social entrepreneurship was trendy. (Read my September blog post to learn more about Patagonia.) More recently, he founded 1% For the Planet, an organization that encourages businesses to contribute 1% of their profits to environmental organizations. Let My People Go Surfing details Chouinard’s journey from adventurer to successful social entrepreneur.
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Blake Mycoskie is the person behind Toms shoes. His company was one of the first to pioneer the one-for-one idea that’s popular in social entrepreneurship. For every pair of shoes that the company sells it donates a pair of shoes to a person in need. The book emphasizes the idea that it’s possible to make money while helping the world at the same time, and it’s easier than most people think. In its pages, you’ll find six keys that will help you change your life or your business.
Get Big Fast and Do More Good by Ido Leffler and Lance Kalish
In five years Ido Leffler and Lance Kalish took Yes To Carrots, their natural cosmetics brand, from a simple dream to a successful brand sold in 25 different countries. Today the company is called Yes To, and it has multiple collections that focus on incorporating different natural ingredients. For example, there’s Yes To Cucumbers, Yes To Cotton, and Yes To Coconut. Get Big Fast and Do More Good is an inspiring, quick read that may give you insight into your own business.
Screw Business as Usual by Richard Branson
Richard Branson is one of the world’s most successful and famous entrepreneurs. Branson’s book provides numerous examples from his own life on how you can find success in business and change the world at the same time. Ultimately, Branson’s message is that no business should focus on profit alone. He believes that businesses have a responsibility to solve social issues. While every social entrepreneur will agree with Branson, his book illuminates the actual path that you can take to achieve profit and social change.