"When I first came across the term social enterprise a few years ago, I simply assumed it was just another way of saying charity. The word enterprise didn’t really click at the time."
Marco Strillozzi - Founder of Strillobyte
In a world where business is dominated by greed and exploitation, social enterprises are a new breed of companies that not only seek profit, but also crucially seek impact. At Strillobyte, we believe that this is the key to a sustainable future, one where trading does not just aim at generating profit for shareholders, but rather at generating value for all stakeholders: investors, employees, partners and local communities.
Organisations such as Social Enterprise UK and The Happy Startup School have introduced us to an incredible number of passionate and inspiring entrepreneurs, the true living proof that social purpose and succeeding in business are not mutually exclusive.
Today Strillobyte is a supporting partner of Social Enterprise UK, and working towards becoming a true social business. For geeks like us, this translates into using technology to help others.
According to The Future of Business — State of Social Enterprise Survey 2017, social enterprises are mainly micro and small businesses. They perform notably well, surpassing mainstream SMEs in a range of business metrics including turnover growth and diversity in leadership.
However, social entrepreneurs still face several tough challenges, from recruiting the right staff who fit their mission and values, to access to finance. The study identifies the lack of visibility beyond the local communities these businesses operate in, as one of the main contributing factors.
SEB is our first attempt at providing a technical solution to this problem. Through a conversational interface in Facebook Messenger, it helps users discover social enterprises and events. It knows how to find companies and events by name, or close to a specific location using UK postcodes, and for each entry it can display a friendly overview and links to websites.
With time, we plan to teach SEB how to filter by category, or areas of impact. It will have information about publications, awards and news, ideally becoming a reference tool for finding out all that’s happening in the world of social entrepreneurship.
SEB follows the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid!), a well-known approach in the tech world, which states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated.
Chatbots and voice assistants like Amazon Alexa can be extremely sophisticated, but the first version of SEB is intentionally basic. We wanted to program it effectively and quickly, launch it and iterate fast so that it can become what users need, rather than what we would like it to be.
To start chatting to SEB, just go to our Facebook Page, our website, or click the button below.
If you have any feedback, we would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org