When I started Inteco I thought it was for profit business. At that time I was not exposed to social entrepreneurship or social changers. I did not even know there was a difference between the two. For the last three years I have gone through the stress of generating as much income from Inteco as physically possible.
My first misconstrued notion of social business was in an entrepreneurship class. Where the lecturer insisted that EABL and COCA COLA were social businesses. I been who I am thought that was ludacris. Helping the society was not in their objectives. I refuted his opinion. Social businesses are defined by their objectives
Somehow I forgot that sentiment as I grew my business. I believed that in order to create more business I needed to make it fun and sexy (remember this post?). Since Mensuration is not a fun topic I would make it fun. I had ideas of women sharing their first period stories and YouTube videos everywhere. I had wanted to do marketing for Inteco on social media and that was the genesis of the business blog. I wanted to hype a half-baked idea before its time. Luckily, in hindsight I never succeeded at that.
My first introduction was at an incubation training that was focusing on teenage girls. I partnered up with someone and did the presentation to the panel. However, I realized half the businesses that were presenting were not social businesses they were just twisting the benefits to be in line with the requirements. For the second time in my life I was faced with people believing that for profit business was the same as a social business. Our project went through but, I realized from one of the panel judges my individual business was not what won them over. My business was just a value add to my partner’s. I eventually, stopped been involved in the partnership project for this reason.
During my training with Akili Dada was the very first time I came into contact with social entrepreneurship and social changers ( I call them that please feel free to tell me the correct term).I met people who were engaged in social business and not think they were. Every business had a positive social impact. I started to ask myself what was MY social impact.
These were my objectives when I started Inteco
- Mobilize key industry players to establish and maintain efficient channels of distribution to ensure reliability
- Act as a conduit between women and sanitary pad companies
- Create a rapport with women in order to provide tailored services
I do not see a lot of social impact yet, that is what I want to do now with the company. I have to go back to the drawing board and work this out.