3 tips for finding the perfect social enterprise co-founder

By Liana Barcia 02 November 2015

How do you find the perfect business partner? Photo by: Karl Gartland / CC BY-NC-ND

Starting your own social enterprise requires a substantial amount of financial capital and hard work, which can be extremely daunting if you’re a one-person team. Instead of setting out alone, it is usually a better idea to find a co-founder who can take the entrepreneurial journey with you, and share the risk and responsibility, as well as the rewards.

Just like any business, the best case scenario for a startup social enterprise is that it takes off, scales impact, achieves financial sustainability and stays in operation for many years. If this happens, you could potentially spend the rest of your life working with your business partner so finding the right fit should not be taken lightly.

Indeed, a bad match could be much worse than starting up alone. In addition to seeing your business fail, choosing the wrong co-founder could also land you in a serious financial or legal mess.

“Co-founding a business is a marriage of sorts,” Sam Goldman, co-founder of d.light, a social enterprise that provides solar energy solutions to those who lack reliable energy access, told Devex. “You’ll spend all day and often many a long night together — for years.”

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About the author

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Liana Barcia

Liana is a Manila-based reporter at Devex focusing on education, development finance and public-private partnerships and contributing a wide range of content featured in the Development Insider, Money Matters and Doing Good newsletters. She draws from her experience in business reporting and advertising to generate coverage that is engaging, insightful and relevant to the Devex community.


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