With Charlene Nadalin, Founder and CEO at Amintro, we talked about the reality of social isolation and uncovered insights into building a sustainable free platform to genuinely help people while generating enough revenues to sustain your purpose.
What started as a desire to help Amintro founder Charlene Nadalin's mother became a concrete initiative to foster friendship among people over 50 in North America.
Amintro from Latin amica - introduction (literally friends - introduction) provides baby boomers and seniors with a free platform to let them find a group of friends with which they can share time and experiences to avoid loneliness and social isolation. It also features relevant editorial content about how to live healthier and happier.
"The reality is that social isolation and loneliness is a global epidemic," Charlene says. Amintro envisions becoming a global brand and solution to help seniors and their families.
To support Amintro, Charlene underlines you can spread the word about their social platform to create more opportunities for people to connect and contact them if you want to become part of the solution.
Insights Into Building a Sustainable Free Platform
You can stay true to your values and develop an inclusive and sustainable business without having to opt for a freemium model.
To do so, you need to define one revenue model and roll it out to develop and test your platform, Charlene shares. The idea is to understand the relevance of other potential revenue models and discover new revenue streams along the way. She highlights that you can only do so once you have built your product.
So, how to develop a relevant and robust first revenue model?
If possible, leverage your previous experiences and professional network to define the clientele that will help you keep the platform free.
Charlene used her extensive marketing and editorial sales experience to develop partnerships with organisations that sponsor the content in her platform, helping her sustain Amintro. "You need to know your clientele, understand their needs and pain points. [I realised that] I had a network of past clients who may benefit from what we are doing at Amintro," she explains.
Amintro's partners include financial institutions, insurance companies, travel agencies, food manufacturers, among others, that provide services and products to support her target demographic. Note that these partnerships are also aligned with the company's purpose as they allow giving seniors access to valuable information for their mental and physical well-being.
In terms of marketing, your positioning can significantly differ between your clientele and the people you want to support.
To scale up your purpose and increase your impact, it might be necessary to consider fundraising. "We have identified other opportunities for our stakeholders that will generate revenue, and we are [, therefore,] going into fundraising to build out our intellectual property and technology".
During the whole process, do not hesitate to look out for help in the areas that you do not know well, use the available resources, and build relationships with people who share your values.
Inspiration to Go!
I have learned through all of this that people want to see you succeed and are generous with their knowledge and experience. They are very much willing and happy to answer your questions or to provide some form of assistance, whatever that may be. That is not something that I realised before starting the company.
Thanks so much for reading this post!
If you are a social entrepreneur and would like to share your story, reach out to me via LinkedIn. I am looking forward to it!