By: Liana Sherman
The initial social venture idea wound up not being the right direction for my efforts, as it proved incredibly difficult for me to reach one of the target beneficiaries–university students in Spain. After much thought and late nights, I decided to renovate the social venture in a way where I knew that I could begin to make an immediate and more likely impact. This meant having my social venture, which involved starting a translation company linking self-publishing authors with international university students currently studying in the United States (rather than in Spain). The aim is to better both groups by providing the writers with the opportunity of reaching an international market as well as offering international students a source of employment and way of earning credentials in the literary world. My social venture will utilize the bilingual capabilities of international university students by having those who I have trained translate and edit the literary writings of self-publishing writers who are interested in having their work reach global markets.
By starting at my own university, I will have a much stronger ability to develop the venture. Over the course of the past several months, I have mapped out what my plans include on launching this innovative version of my idea. Anticipated organizational partnerships include the Language Center at The George Washington University. The scope of the partnership will entail allowing me to have access to the international students who are currently employed or have had experience in working as a foreign language tutor. The tutors chosen by the Language Center will be good students to begin my social venture with, as the organization not only supports language teaching and learning and research, but also ensures that the students hired as tutors will provide the highest caliber language teaching.
Additionally, as the GWU Language Center provides a wide array of academic support for both faculty and students, I will be able to utilize the organization when seeking professors who are willing and able to assist in the initial training of the international students on the arts of translating and editing the translated works. Moreover, the GW Language Center offers English for Academic Purposes Writing Support Program, which provides service for GWU students with non-English backgrounds.
The tutors trained to provide focused support for non-native speakers and assist in educating on all stages of the writing process to work on audience, brainstorming, citation, drafting, evidence, grammar, organization and flow, outlining, paragraphing, revision, thesis, and tone. My social venture could utilize these tutors as they could help provide the initial education on editing written works. Other anticipated organizational partnerships include publishers and distributors such as Amazon and Smashwords.
This would be beneficial to these businesses as they could promote themselves by attracting attention to their partnership with a social venture (my social venture) that is helping combat worldwide youth unemployment as well as self-publishing authors. This would appeal to consumers as it provides a positive feeling knowing that one’s purchase is going to help address a prominent issue as well as attracting a larger market of international individuals who speak languages other than English. Partnerships like this are essential to my success, for they provide a way to interact with consumers and provide the market demand with the translated literary works.
An obstacle I am dealing with is the stress of classes and commitments in organizations and work. However, I am working through this time limit by reserving time each day to focus on working on detailing my new business plan and outline for how exactly I will launch the social venture.
I am applying to this year’s CGI U with this new direction to my venture idea.