One of the buzz words in the developing world is the increased usage of the term Social Enterprise. Many however mistakenly confuse Social Enterprises for traditional non-profits. Social enterprises differ in that it has a specific triple bottom-line which focus an addition of social and environmental values to the traditional economic measures of a corporation or organization’s success. The need for social enterprises are increasing with a specific focus on addressing the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

At RLabs, the Innovation Incubator have now take the approach of incubating and accelerating Social Enterprises to address community problems and we’ve been applying The Lean Startup methodology as described by Eric Ries (See image above Eric addressing Ignite event)which I was fortunate to meet at an event in San Francisco. At RLabs the lean startup approach to our startups was very helpful and we’ve already seen one of our startups JamiiX growing into a business operating for almost a year now.

The Lean Startup basically emerged through the following key trends:

1) Use of free and open source software
2) Application of agile software development methods
3) Applying a customer-centric rapid iteration approach to development (Similar to our Living Lab, methodology at RLabs)

Not only is RLabs using The Lean Startup approach in its incubator but have also been using the same approach within the movement itself. Eric will be releasing his book titled “The Lean Startup – How Today’s Entrepreneurs use continious Innovation to create radically successful businesses” later this year and be sure to catch your copy and we will keep you updated on the progress of our social enterprise startups at RLabs.

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