Hello everyone, my name is Juliette. I’m 14 years old and a teenage ambassador for Moeloco. I own my own business called CSJ leMoNaiD, which raises money for a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND). I do this by selling homemade lemonade online and at large events. My business is known as a social enterprise, because some of the proceeds go to a cause, in this case, curing MND.
Why did I choose homemade lemonade and MND?
I started CSJ leMoNaiD because my grandfather, who we’d always call Nonno, passed away from MND in 2014. My Nonno was the glue that stuck everything together in my family, and when he was suffering from the disease, I knew that I needed to do something. After he passed I talked to my mum about why there wasn’t a cure for MND already and what the biggest problem was with finding one, and she said, “Money”! So we came up with the idea of selling homemade lemonade, and my life has changed ever since. I have now been running this social enterprise with my family for two and a half years, so I have learned a lot while on this journey. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned through being a social entrepreneur is that family is really important, and without them, my life would be very different.
“Follow your heart and be true to what you love!”
Being a social entrepreneur became a passion of mine because I wanted to help people with MND and their loved ones. But it can be really hard at times, especially when people, like your friends, get jealous or don’t understand your passion and that can really bring you down. So to anyone who wants to become a social entrepreneur, I have these 3 tips to give you!
How do I start a social enterprise?
1. First choose a cause and a product or service
Your business must be something that will fulfil your passion, because if not, one day you will eventually get sick of committing to your creation. Following your passion means that you will always feel strongly about it, be able to rise above other people’s opinions of you doing it and will keep you excited along the way. I’m passionate about finding a cure for MND, and enjoy making homemade lemonade.
2. Start a plan
Focus on what you want your business to be in five or ten years, and plan how to get there. Even though this may change over time, it is very important to map it out. Yes, you must take it one step at a time, but you also want to keep the core of your business strong and work your way through tough challenges. Keeping your next steps in mind and forecasting will help you stick to your plan and avoid dips in the road.
3. Take care of yourself!
Always make time to do other things that you love. It is crucial when running a business that you also attend to other needs and wants in your life. I have experienced this first hand, as I used to sell lemonade at markets every weekend for two years straight!!!! By the end of the two years my family and I were getting worn out and tired; we needed to take a break for the Christmas holidays!
Ever since, we have decided to scale back on doing markets every week and instead we sell our lemonade online. This shows that when you are the boss of your own business, you get to decide how you want to run it. That way, you never become unmotivated to do the work and eventually you won’t break or give up. So to avoid over-working, make sure to spend time with friends and family, go out, have lazy days and just remember that it’s okay to be tired sometimes.
Those are my top 3 tips if you’re thinking of starting a social enterprise. Oh, and one more thing, the absolute BEST thing about being a social entrepreneur is that I get to help people every day, which is really what it’s all about for me! I hope these tips will help each and every one of you in starting your own social enterprise because the world needs you!
Thanks for reading, and make sure to always follow your heart and be true to what you love. Juliette ❤️