“Cars are parked all the time — 23 out of 24 hours of the day, on average,” notes Jeff Miller, CEO of the car-sharing service called Wheelz. Obviously, that’s a problem. According to studies, the average American family owns 2.28 vehicles per household which means that, on average, there are a lot of unused vehicles floating around in the United States.
So Jeff Miller thought of a brilliant solution: Why not create a service that allows those car owners to rent out their vehicles to other people? Similar to what Airbnb does for homes, Wheelz allows individuals to rent out their cars to people in their area. Made for colleges, the purpose is to provide a solution in which car owners can make money off of their idle cars, while people that need to rent a car for a few days are just a few hours are able to do so easily, and with minimal hassle.
And, the best thing of all is that Wheelz, like many other social-good startups, seeks to provide an effective solution to cut down on global issues, while simultaneously benefitting its users. It’s a win-win scenario that seems to be indicative of an entirely unique approach towards entrepreneurship; instead of developing a standalone business using entirely separate resources, social-good startups are now turning increasingly more and more towards things that we already own. Like cars and houses.
Solving Other Worldly Issues
And then there are other startups which aim to cause much more profound impacts on the world at large, changing our own perspectives on such simple tasks as showering and even book lending in other parts of the world.
Beta Shower, another social good startup, aims to bring the amazing sensation that is showering in warm water to other parts of the globe that many not have as easy access to such a thing for only 5 cents a shower. Using recycled water, rain water and local water in these mostly impoverished regions,the Beta Shower system provides water for showers, and solar panels provide for energy to heat the water.
Motivating Others To Do Good
At their most basic level, these companies aim to create some sort of impact on the world around them by simply making their goal to bring about some positive change in the world. But, as we all know, doing so is never easy and rarely a simple feat, and asking others to take time out of their day in order to do so is also a challenge.
And that’s why these social good startups have been doing such a great job. By finding a way to motivate individuals through incentives, these companies are able to more adequately ensure that their efforts in establishing effective social good initiatives are followed through with.
Another social good service, Sharing Spree, literally offers their users deals in order to benefit charities. Deals such as 60% off of dinner, or deals on movie tickets. Simple purchases that ultimately result in huge contributions to charities by motivating individuals to pursue those causes.
But regardless of what exactly those issues may be — global warming, poverty, access to clean drinking water — tackling them in such profound and compelling manners is ultimately what allows for these start-ups to yield so much success. Instead of using their brainpower to create solutions to everyday problems — issues that most entrepreneurs are tackling — these companies have instead chosen to tackle much more perplexing and often startling world issues through practical means.
And, in a lot of ways, this seems to be the future of entrepreneurship. Instead of creating new things for us to ogle over, startups may be finding different ways for us to interact with what we already have in order to benefit the world at large.
And after all, giving feels good, doesn’t it?
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