What Are Social Good Products
A Product or a service is the chief embodiment of a social enterprise’s mission and is a key asset in conveying a social good narrative. Let’s call it a Social Impact Solution. Social Impact Solutions encompass products and services made for the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) and those products and services that employ BOP in production process. Social enterprises (Socents) across clean energy, healthcare, education and water & sanitation mostly fall in the first category while those involved in marketing traditional arts & handicrafts, and generating livelihood opportunities by training and employing rural communities in economic activity belong to the second category. Take for example rural business process outsourcing (BPO) centers and rural tourism centers, both have emerged as popular service-based models among livelihood development socents. Nearly 3/4ths of socents in India make social impact solutions for BoP while 18% of socent fall into the livelihood development sector.
What makes Product Stories
Every product or a service has a story behind it. It exists for a certain reason and benefits its users by addressing their specific challenge. Like cause stories and impact stories, product stories take the readers through its journey, educating them about what it is, how it was made, why it was made and how it has positively impacted lives along the way. Here are some product stories
Product- The Hero
Unlike cause and impact stories, the Product or the Service is the Hero of the story here. In the story of Bakey’s edible cutlery, the hero is the edible cutlery. This story is about edible spoons which is the brainchild of Narayan Peesapathy, a groundwater specialist from Hyderabad. In this video, the contents of the edible spoons, response to them by people, where they could be used, how Bakeys envisions creating environmental impact by replacement of plastic cutlery and creating livelihood are the prime focus areas. When you watch the video, you feel a sense of admiration for the ingenuity of the product.That’s your hero.
Manufacturing processes that are an celebrate indigenous concepts and the people behind them
Did you ever ask yourself – why are handicrafts and products made by social enterprises so creative, innovative and draw more attention than commercial products? It’s the process by which these products are made. In this story, Studio One Eighty Nine focuses on the processes by which their apparels are made in Ghana. Even the stories titles emphasise the importance of the process by which they are made. For instance, the Art of Hand Batiking.
Passion of the social entrepreneur that transforms into a sustainable solution
A product is an embodiment of the entrepreneur’s passion and vision that transforms into an impact solution. The Mudhouse, built by Areen Attari is nothing but his passion, his ideas and his vision transformed into reality. He is a Bio Architect by passion and profession and his vision was to create something that made a difference to the environment by using locally available natural materials. In his visual account he talks about the Mudhouse- what it is made of, why is it made in that way and what made him/her conceptualize this idea of a Mudhouse.
Social entrepreneurs are passionate problem solvers and innovators. Products they make stem from a mindset of making a positive difference in the lives of the people who have hitherto been out of the mainstream. Surely, stories behind them are as interesting as products themselves.