Why you should work in a social business like vostel.de
At the beginning of their own professional life, many people ask themselves in which direction they want to develop. Which industry and which topics are interesting? How high should the salary be? And – increasingly important – what added social value should one’s work have? Especially with the last question in mind, we would like to introduce you to the idea of social business. A form of business to which vostel.de also belongs and which combines “doing good” with economically innovative work.
If you like the idea of social business and would like to get to know it in practice, one of the open positions in our vostel.de teams could be exciting for you. You can find more information at the end of this article.
But first things first.
What is a social business anyway?
A social business is a company that has set itself the goal of solving social or ecological problems. Unlike many non-profit organisations, it generates its own revenues and is not dependent on donations or subsidies. This enables a social business to develop agile and innovative solutions and to reinvest profits in the further development of the problem solution. Unlike other free-market companies, however, the focus is not on returns and profit maximisation, but on achieving the social or ecological vision.
The first social business was founded by the economist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus in 1983: the Grameen Bank, which grants micro-loans to destitute small entrepreneurs. The special thing about it was that people without financial collateral could borrow small amounts of money to invest in their future. Since the amounts could usually be paid back quickly, it was also profitable for the bank. An economic-social win-win situation. Today, the Kiva platform operates a very similar concept, but on which private individuals (including you) can grant micro-loans.
Even though the concept of the common good enterprise is now almost 40 years old, for most people “doing good” and “earning money” are still strictly separated. (More on this in our (only German) blog article “Jan Böhmermann hat keine Ahnung. Oder: Warum man auch mit “Was Gutes tun” Geld verdienen darf (und sollte)“). Yet social enterprises offer enormous potential for solving our current and future challenges. The new federal government has also recognised this and describes social entrepreneurship in its coalition agreement as an increasingly important means of solving social problems.
What social businesses are there in Germany?
Probably the best known in Germany are Einhorn, betterplace and Tomorrow Bank. GoodJobs presents some other exciting social businesses, such as vostel.de, in its blog post here. Of course, this is only a small selection of social enterprises in Germany, but hopefully it gives you a good impression of the variety of topics that social businesses deal with. The Social Entrepreneur Netzwerk Deutschland publishes an exciting overview of developments in Germany every year in its Social Entrepreneur Monitor. You can find the current report from 2021/2022 here.
What makes vostel.de a social business?
With our volunteering platform vostel.de, we have set ourselves the goal of making volunteering as accessible as possible to all people – regardless of their time budget, language skills and abilities. In this way, we want to give people the opportunity to get involved in a more just and sustainable world in a low-threshold way. In addition to placing volunteers and advising non-profit organisations, we also support companies in planning and implementing corporate volunteering activities for their employees, which is how we finance our platform. Profits are always invested in the further development of our site, locations and services.
In addition, we also take social responsibility and have been climate-positive since 2021. Through New Work approaches (e.g. high transparency, cooperative decision-making, personal responsibility, flexible working spaces & hours), we also offer space for the personal development of our employees and thus strengthen their motivation to continue working together towards our vision.
What you can learn at vostel.de
The world of volunteering is huge and ranges from educational justice and migration to nature conservation and environmental protection, to name just a few. At vostel.de, we deal with this diversity on a daily basis and are always learning about new exciting topics and lifeworlds. This also includes the fact that we work closely with various non-profit organisations in Germany in our Partner and Volunteer Management Team and thus gain insights into their daily work. At the same time, we advise them on how to sustainably recruit volunteers and integrate them into their work.
For companies, we organise a range of different corporate volunteering activities with our Corporate Volunteering Team. These include so-called Social Days, where company employees plant tree grates, renovate/build playgrounds or carry out clean-ups. In addition, the team specifically acquires social projects in new locations and enters them into the platform.
Finally, our Marketing and Communications Team takes care of informing volunteers, social organisations and companies about all aspects of social engagement and raising awareness of important social issues. This happens by targeting them on various channels such as Instagram, newsletter or our blog. From watering city trees to feminist foreign policy to involvement in Ukraine aid, the topics here are also very diverse and close to current social events.
Would you like to get to know us and support us in our vision?
We regularly have vacancies in our various teams. If you would like to get to know us and support us in our mission as a social business, then take a look. We look forward to receiving your application!
Your vostel.de Team is looking forward to your application!