A Positive Overlook and Impact of Social Entrepreneurship
The concept of “Social Entrepreneurship” is demanding its own identity and commitment, and though it is not entirely a ‘new’ thing, it is well suited (timely) to our times and our needs. We have always had Social Entrepreneurs, just perhaps not referred to by such title. It is important to note first that Social Entrepreneurship is rooted in the same elements as that of an entrepreneur.
However, the new ‘timely’ title helps to identify and broaden the playing ground and clearly sets apart what is required or expected of the Social Entrepreneur. In addition to innovative non-profit undertakings, Social Entrepreneurship can include any socially intended business projects geared towards improving the betterment of communities, particularly poorer, vulnerable populations.
They aim to put societies on a better path and as a result, they may engage in projects such as refugee shelters that start businesses to train and employ their residents and teach them to become self-sustainable.
Social Entrepreneurship connects the desire of a social aim with the fundamentals of business: discipline, innovation, and determination.
The time is certainly opportune for entrepreneurial approaches to social problems. Many governmental and non – governmental and philanthropic attempts and activities have fallen far short of our expectations of a more social role. Organizations and other social structures are often perceived as inefficient – not producing the desired results; ineffective in their activities and unresponsive to the evident social needs.
The Social Entrepreneur recognizes a social problem and brings inspiration, experience, unexpected initiative, direct action, unwavering determination, innovation, creativity, daringness, and purposefulness; and aims for stability and cohesiveness for society at large.
Thus, Social Entrepreneurs are needed to develop new ideals for a new generation. They seek to identify the most fruitful and hyper efficient methods of serving their social missions.
The ideals of Social Entrepreneurship can be confusing as it may be understood differently by many as the terminology is still evolving and becoming more and more popular.
Some may associate social Entrepreneurship exclusively with non-profit organizations and anyone who starts such an organization. And yet, the term Social Entrepreneurship may be used to refer to business owners who integrate social responsibility into their corporate world. Put simply, Social Entrepreneurs are on a mission to create impact by giving value – profit or not.
They seek out real value first as opposed to profit margins.
The Social Entrepreneur directs his/her aims to value in the form of transformational benefit to a society, and are not too led by financial profits. Thus, the Social Entrepreneur seeks to value social improvements, and sets out to provide and promote benefits for people who are underserved, neglected or highly disadvantaged and cannot afford to pay. These elements are often the building blocks for the path to Social Entrepreneurship.
That is what makes it Social Entrepreneurship and socially acceptable.
It is intrinsically arduous though, to measure the quantity of social value created. As a result, it is much harder to ascertain if, or how well a Social Entrepreneur is creating adequate social value to justify the resources used in creating the proposed value.
The calculations are not only difficult, but also disputatious. A great task for Social Entrepreneurs is the inability to capture the value they have created in an economic form to be able to compensate for the resources they use. The evolution or endurance of a social enterprise is not validation of its productivity or effectiveness in improving social conditions.
Nonetheless, there’s something inherently enthralling and captivating about entrepreneurs and their stories of passion – the ‘why’ and ‘how’ they do what they do that gains interest for Social Entrepreneurs.
People are attracted to these ‘social advocates’ because these extraordinary people can evolve and adapt when necessary and they come up with bright ideas and against all the odds, they succeed at creating new and innovative products and services that dramatically improve people’s lives and solves their problems.
Social Entrepreneurs get to the ‘heart’ and not to the ‘pocket’.
But interest in Social Entrepreneurship goes beyond the depths of notoriety and fascination with people. The ideologies of Social Entrepreneurship signals the incumbent drive to social change, and it is that possible yield, with its permanent, transitional benefit to society as a whole, that will separate the Social Entrepreneur from the business entrepreneur.
Social Entrepreneurship should be seen as dynamic to the advancement of societies as entrepreneurship is to the furtherance of economies.
Social Entrepreneurs are clearly the catalysts for change that communities need today, and they are committed to advancing positive social change with a driving passion dedicated to making this happen.
They exercise somewhat of a healthy impatience as they are focused and intent on their mission of development and sustainability. They seize opportunities that otherwise would go unnoticed. They ascertain and accept risks differently than others, giving them the ability to use new approaches to solve old social problems that are still lingering.
The dynamics that Social Entrepreneurs offer, gives hope in response to the ever-growing complexities and challenges that the world is now faced with. They bring to the table, an approach that is both emphatic and ethical and can very well help, rather than hurt, communities today.
Is this indeed the way forward for economies?
Note: Cherise Castle-Blugh is the Author of THE TIMELY ENTREPRENEUR & the Key Educator at Downer’s Educational Institute in the field of Business and Entrepreneurship.