Last rainy weekend, PEBBO was honored to be invited by iLab to collaborate with them again, on planning its 2nd social enterprise growth program “Try It” training activity. During the process, we had a chance to meet many social enterprise entrepreneurs who are full of enthusiasm and truly hope to make the society and environment better, which made the wet and cold weather feel much warmer!
This year's participants focused on the topics around environmental protection, animal conservation, food farming, education, and vulnerable care. Since the entrepreneurs in the “Try It” stage are in their early stages of the journey, therefore the training focused on the hypothetical problem and research in the early stage. With PEBBO’s years of practical experience in human-centered design, we are hoping to help and inspire people to ask the right questions, find the right questions and solve the right problems in the early stage of entrepreneurship, and make fewer mistakes in the future journey.
During the process, we found that many social entrepreneurs started their entrepreneurial journey with the initial intention of making the society and the environment better, while few started their business with the primary goal of making profits. However, this is often the most challenging problem that social entrepreneurs face in the course of starting a business. Should they take solving social problems as the first priority and then consider making profits? Or should they take making profits as the first goal and then consider how to solve social problems with profits? After all, it's about social enterprise, not social charity.
Another challenge is that many social issues are not entirely or directly related to people, such as wildlife conservation. Or some issues are even caused by human-centered Design, such as the plastic reduction issue that has attracted great attention in recent years. We can say that plastic bags and other related functional products are human-centered Design products because they are cheap and durable and bring considerable "convenience" to both consumers and stores. However, because of its convenience and low cost, it brings damage to the environment. It might satisfy human needs in a short time but it is not only affecting the planet we lived in but our health.
It may not be so easy to make such convenient and "short-term" products disappear, but at least we can try to find the balance between human-centered Design and environment-centered Design. PEBBO is a team that advocates human-centered design. We hope to exert our influence in this seemingly impossible task. We will launch a series of related programs and activities, stay tuned! If you have any ideas, interests, feelings or ideas about our project, please contact us!