Have you ever heard of people who are bold enough to believe they can change the world? Some people still think that we can change the world, one project at a time. These are the social entrepreneurs. Not only do they believe in it, but they also take action. Welcome to the world of social entrepreneurship.
There are many definitions of social enterprises, but here’s a key thing: a “social entrepreneur” identifies a need with a target. However, this need will rather be an injustice or inequality. A social entrepreneur brings innovative solutions to pressing social problems. Social entrepreneurs are found not only in collective enterprises but also among equity-based SMEs and self-employed workers.
A social enterprise is first and foremost a business but uses the money it generates to do good by fighting against poverty or in favor of a healthier environment. Social enterprises generate profits, but these are reinvested in the community for a socially beneficial purpose.
Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization support relevant, pioneering work in areas like inequality and distribution and the economics of innovation. It brings together a community of entrepreneurs dedicated to social change. It combines a social goal and an environmental goal. Not only limited to urban areas, but social entrepreneurship also concerns regions and rural areas, as evidenced by the work of Mohammed Yunus in Bangladesh. INET has among its founding values social, environmental and economic responsibility (sustainable development).
Also, the institute has developed social entrepreneurship programs around the world. This movement is indeed recognized to create and distribute wealth in a responsible way. At the INET most recent Reawakening conference Oct 2017 in Edinburgh, one of the agendas was to address large-scale social change and its agent like Skoll World forum.
One of the attendees interviewed, Mellissa Riddle, an advocate of social enterprise, a professional and Harvard student working on case study she calls Cultivate Humanity International, (CHI). She smiles saying the acronym, meaning vital energy, like her mission to breathe new life into social dilemmas namely land degradation and poverty, in hopes to successfully address these in sustainable ways using new economic thinking, and advancing social progress.”
Several organizations like Skoll are entirely dedicated to promoting social entrepreneurship internationally. The social entrepreneurship project is about tackling a social, environmental or economic challenge by offering a solution or a service. So, it’s a profitable investment. – which generates sufficient income and creates added value – that social enterprises manage to combine their social idealism with the realism of the capitalist economy.
A quote by John W. Gardner as a piece of advice, has been a drive to the founders of Skoll Foundation: “Bet on good people doing good things” The movement has identified, supported and grown more social entrepreneurs, bringing systemic solutions to social and environmental issues in many countries. Thanks to its network of social entrepreneurs, this organization drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems.
Others like Mellissa attended INET conference to learn about global economic transformation, and for a chance to chat with their inspirators, such as Adair Turner, leading economist and Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam.
She also comments on the staunch opposition to questions about capitalism. “People automatically assume you are a “socialist” or a “communist” and paint the dreaded image of Soviet Russia. Instead of feeling threatened by the topic, let’s question our economic paradigms and disregard old dogmas.”
For the college network, and for the younger generation that attends it, this perspective is hopeful, as young people often want to succeed while contributing to the well-being of their community. Social entrepreneurship is a viable and promising option in this regard. It offers the poorest an elegant solution and the pride of contributing through their work to enrich their families and their communities. For example, micro-finance programs will enable enterprising women to offer local products and services at low prices, while allowing them to escape poverty and meet the needs of their loved ones. This perspective is in line with many values taught in college and university courses.
Written by Kyle Consult, @Mogul