P is for Lluis Pareras: Five Keys To Success For Social Entrepreneurs

Lluis presents an interesting point of view in this video.

Even if you do not agree with everything he says, it can be useful to know his approach. Here is the TED description of his talk.

Healthequity is a venture capital fund investing in healthcare. 

Neurosurgeon, PhD, and Global Executive MBA (IESE), Lluis analyzes more than 400 business plans per year.

Board member of several healthcare startups, he is also author of more than 10 books dealing with innovation, technology, venture capital and healthcare.

Lluis explains that his work involves being the equivalent of a venture capitalist for social entrepreneurs. He introduces his talk by saying something along the following lines.

“I am the bad guy. I am the guy who says no.

“I am the one who rejects almost every social entrepreneurial idea that applies for funding.

“But let me tell you what we look for in potentially successful social entrepreneurs.” 

Lluis goes on to describe what backers look for in people who are likely to succeed. Such social entrepreneurs often have the following qualities.

* They know the real value of an idea – which is nothing.

They know that an idea might be interesting, but its real value depends on its execution. Backers invest in a team that can translate the idea into action and deliver success.

* They hate.

They are really pissed off about social problems. Lluis describes one entrepreneur who was so angry about kids dying because of bad water that he did everything possible to solve the problem. Such passion is vital.

* They shout their existence to the world.

They are not afraid of sharing their ideas. They are not so precious that they keep these a secret because somebody else might steal them.

* They are paranoid.

Whilst they build on their strengths, they also focus on their weaknesses. Lluis says that backers ask such a person the question:

“What doesn’t let you sleep at night?”

Successful entrepreneurs constantly scan and try to fix problems that might get in the way of their success.

* They look at both the social impact and the money.

They know they need to attract money to make the idea happen. So they recognise it is vital to focus on ‘profitability’ as well as helping people and the planet.


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