“Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.”
― Bill Drayton, Leading Social Entrepreneurs Changing the World
Today, I am sharing on the concept of Social Entrepreneurship. Many are conversant with the concept, although some might not know about the intricacies involved *oh well, I was once there:)*…too many quotes on Social Entrepreneurship are centered on fishing*surprised*: the Chinese proverb, the introductory quote for a case-study on the concept, and so on. This could have left one confused*lool*…but luckily it is not all about fishing*whew*.
Social Entrepreneurship goes beyond being centered on creating platforms to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), if it did, then we will envision Social enterprises folding-up by 2015. It certainly extends to the aspect of being defined as a means of identifying or recognizing a social problem and using entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a social venture to achieve a desired social change *you can bet this is Wikipedia’s definition*.
Broken down in my own words, the concept entails the identification of a problem in the society in the aspects of healthcare, education, farming, poverty, unemployment and the list is endless…utilizing entrepreneurial skills by applying principles on business plans, feasibility studies, scalability, fund-raising and so on. Then you have a social venture that can be set up either by: transforming a commercial business, or an NGO/Community-based organization to a social enterprise or just by creating one originally after the identification of such need:D
Do understand that Social entrepreneurs need to be innovative, highly-motivated, critical thinkers and driven to solve problems. There is the need for all these characteristics and more, especially the one of innovation…the question remains “how is your idea different from that of the other person?”. A historical example of an innovative social entrepreneur is Dr. Maria Montessori, who developed the Montessori approach to early child education *pretty cool*.
After you are done standing out, you must realize that there are challenges of being a social entrepreneur, the most controversial one is the irony of helping people who do not actually realize they need help…explaining to a farmer to use new-improved seedlings, when he already has seeds he has been saving for 5 years…smh:). Although, if you still cannot identify the problems around you that have entrepreneurial opportunities, just keep abreast with demographic changes, look for the unexpected, study problems from people’s needs, examine new knowledge by reading exhaustively.
Do ensure you do not delve into this course because everyone is doing it or you feel grants are given more freely when you say you have a social enterprise*lool*…ensure you have the passion and vision for it (you might be sold if you don’t) . After you have known all these things, do join the over 100 dedicated force of Social entrepreneurs I was privileged to meet at the LEAP Africa Conference, tagged “Youth in Social Enterprise” sponsored by Microsoft.
Aii…there you have it. Now I need to have lunch, whether it is fish or not…I am good:D
Would you rather have a business or a social enterprise?