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    Date submitted
  • 08-Jan-2018

Pioneer Connect


Although social entrepreneurship has been increasingly gaining momentum, determining the actual size of the social capital market is challenging. Solving the world’s problems can get expensive and it is important to have resources and connections that you can rely on throughout the life of your social efforts. Social entrepreneurship is an exciting field that is discovering new ways of making our world a better place every year. Now more than ever we are finally reaching new levels where public interest, profitability, funding sources, and most importantly, impact seamlessly align. With that being said, welcome to Pioneer Connect, a consulting enterprise that specializes in financial management and the public relations of social entrepreneurial connections.

Our business model is unique because we are targeting two unique populations. The first group will contain social innovators that have sustainable and impactful business models. These entrepreneurs have the avenues to create meaningful social impact, but do not have the revenues to do so. How can such an innovative and sustainable field rely on such an unsustainable strategy to gain initial funding? The second group we are targeting contains corporations with Corporate Social Responsibility and corporations in need of positive public relations. Many Corporations have sparked scandal that has damaged their image causing them to lose revenue and tarnish their reputation. These corporations have the financial means to make an impact; however they do not have the proper channels to funnel their money into a sustainable and meaningful venture. Historically, funds from individual donors, personal relationships, and large foundations provided the means to fund social ventures. The geographic locations of these issues are occurring nationally.

We plan to partner corporations and social ventures that not only align in their missions, but in their locations. How is it that an entity that has figured out how to make sustainable change and an entity that has the financial means has not partnered up to become mutually beneficial partners? The specific issue at hands is that the sectors are still not working together to achieve the most impact that it can.

Although microfinance models, Internet-based funding, and innovative partnership approaches exist for start-up costs, there is still a gap between someone who just created a sustainable business model and an entity that can provide the start-up costs to this said entrepreneur. The scale of these issues will be determined on a case-by-case assessment of how much financial aid a social enterprise needs and how much money a corporation is willing to invest. A specific cause for this, for example, is “Unhoused

Humanity.” Unhoused Humanity partners with local social service agencies to receive donations to make the first down payment on a homeless citizen’s home. They then work together with the clients to select the right housing options and pay the deposits with the donated funds. This is an example of crowdfunding. But what will happen to Unhoused Humanity if local business run out of funds or no longer wish to contribute? How will it sustain itself?

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Companies and social enterprises

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Our solution to financing someone who just created a sustainable business, is to connect social entrepreneurs to corporations fulfilling CSR or in need of creating positive publicity. We are creating a socially responsible consulting firm that works in the mutual interest of social entrepreneurs and corporations alike. We are going to bridge the gap between sustainable and impactful businesses who struggle financially to companies who  have the means to make said impact but do not know where to invest their CSR funds. The scale of these issues will be determined on a case-by-case assessment of how much financial aid a social enterprise needs and how much money a corporation is willing to invest. An example of a solution stemming from the unique relationship between social enterprises and corporations includes the hypothetical impact that our firm would have made on the BP company during the 2010 oil spill crisis. Even today, the media and the rest of the world look back on this crisis, which has hit BP with labels of ignorance and carelessness in regards to the environment. Had BP come to our firm, we would have been able to pair them with a social enterprise that strives to better the environment, and just needs funding to jumpstart their mission. Particularly the Gulf Coast, which was the body of water heavily affected by the oil spill. In summation, organizations would have received a benefit from our services, in which BP would receive better press for working with this social enterprise, and the social enterprise would have received ample funding for their high-impact projects. In order to minimize risk and ensure satisfactory results, we will create legally binding contracts to tie the two entities together so both parties are liable to each other. On the corporation side, we will create a contractual agreement where the entity promises to supply “x” amount of money over “x” amount of time. In return, the social enterprise will provide a promised amount of output during that time, essentially making the two entities partners. Before we partner a corporation to their respective social enterprise, we will be sure the enterprise has already proved its sustainability and its ability to meet the demands of the corporation. We have created a partnership with connect the Gray in order to do so. Connect the Grey trains businesses and organizations in practices that drive innovation, with the goal of growing and amplifying impact. Our specialty is complex institutions with connections across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Since part of our business plan is to connect social enterprises to corporations, we need to ensure the social enterprises are creating sustainable and tractable outputs. Connect the grey has agreed to serve as mentors for the social entrepreneurs. After “CTG” evaluates the enterprise and makes adjustments in order to ensure its sustainability, we will then feel confident in connecting said social enterprise to a corporation. In short, we our outsourcing our application process and mentorship to CTG. We work directly with and we speak once a week. We are also partnered with “Unhoused humanity” as our first organization to be mentored and to connect with a local corporation. We are working with them to figure out how much money is needed to house a certain amount of people during a certain month. We plan on meeting bi-weekly to track money and quantify their outputs. Business Plan Summary Mission Statement: “Our mission is to bridge the gap between corporations and outstanding entrepreneurial Individuals to redirect corporate social responsibility funds into respective local communities. We will make these connections by consulting corporations And entrepreneurs alike to create a mutually beneficial relationship that creates public relations, decreases costs, and Increases community impact.”

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

ur definition of success is being able to see systemic change within the communities we create partnerships. We will measure the success by tracking how many partnerships we have created and then tracking their progress. We will also track our success by how many clients we are taking on because it proves that we are changing the norm and mentality of how corporate social responsibility is measured. Our revenue will help us hire high performers in the field and keep our organization relevant. We will measure our success annually by evaluating the norms changing and systemic change of the clients we have taken on. We will ask for a report of their success before and after they became part of pioneer connect and quantify the data to measure change and projected change. The percentage will vary by project, however we expect each social enterprise to have at least 45% growth within the first year and we expect our corporation’s revenues to increase by 2% by our positive public relations campaigns. In the specific cities these things are occurring in, we will measure how the city is affected by the statistic before and after these social enterprises received the money to be more impactful.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

In the past, social enterprises have relied on individual donors, personal relationships, and large foundations to fund their social ventures. Now, funding has switched from the traditional sources to micro finance models, Internet based funding, and innovative partnerships. Pioneer connect is the third party that focuses on making those innovative partnerships. We are a socially responsible consulting firm that specializes in marketing, public relations, and wealth management. Our firm works in the mutual interest of corporations and social entrepreneurships alike. Corporations are always looking for social projects to put their money into, and social entrepreneurships are always looking for funding sources. We connect the two in order for them to have a business relationship where that can happen. We define our value based off of the amount successful partnerships we are able to introduce as well as the social impact that is then produced from those connections. The best advantage to working with us would eventually be our book of business. We aim to have many resources from corporations and extensive social entrepreneurships that would be the best investment for their money. Because we do specialize in marketing, public relations, and wealth management, we are able to cover several areas of needs when it comes to a social entrepreneurship getting their foot in the door. The biggest issue social start-ups face is funding and finding those sources. With us, all of that is made easy because we find the best fit for them. With a great team of advisors and board members, the relationships we will make are intended to be the most beneficial for all parties involved and long-lasting. Pioneer Connect identifies as a for-profit LLC and is currently working with the FSU legal clinical in order to get our LLC clinic status.