April 19, 2019

Social Entrepreneurship

India has the world’s largest labour force of 516.3 million people, yet 1.2 million are living below the poverty line. Most of them even lack even the basic necessities like health, nutrition and education.

Social Entrepreneurship

“We rise by lifting others.” Does this quote resonate? Well, There are some people known as ‘Social Entrepreneurs’, who work for humanitarian assistance like saving lives before and after calamities, also maintaining world peace, women's safety and education, etc. Social Entrepreneurship is all about recognition of social problems and solving these problems by entrepreneurial principles and procedures. This concept can be applied to a variety of organizations with different aims, sizes and beliefs.

Different forms of social entrepreneurship are: a community project, non-profit organizations, social enterprise, co-operative and social purpose business.

· Community project: It is a small scale social project which specifies within a community.

· Non-profit organizations: These are bound by duty and often by law to use the income they generate, to address issues relating to their mission. The main focus is on treatment of rare diseases, education, women health, etc.

· Social Enterprise: Businesses that operate according to a specific social or charitable mission are known as social enterprise. For example, providing a job skill training to marginalized people.

· Co-operative: These are member-owned and work on no-profit or for-profit basis.

· Social purpose business: An organization that strives to strike an ideal balance between for-profit organizations and non-profit ones is a social purpose business.

Entrepreneurial quality builds creativity. Social entrepreneurs are creative enough to have a vision of what they want to see and how to make that vision happen. India's best social entrepreneurs like Jeroo Bilimoria is the founder of several international NGOs and has been working on recent ventures like Aflatoun, Childline India Foundation and child helpline International. Also, Harish Hande founder SELCO has installed 1,20,000 system in rural areas of Karnataka. Bharatiya Samruddhi Investments and consulting services( BASIX) founded be Vijay Mahajan is the first Microfinance project to lend to the poor.

At the college level, in the year 2018 when I was in my first year of Engineering, my friends and I thought of getting into this space of social entrepreneurship. The idea was to help the underprivileged children by giving them a product called as the convertible desk. These children used plastic bags to carry their books and also sit on the floor which affected their back posture. This product could solve these problems and could be converted from desk to bag and vice-versa which was basically made of cardboard. All of us made about around 20 of these and went on to distribute them. Apart from part of us doing this small scaled startup, it gave us a very irreplaceable feeling of satisfaction as well as responsibility looking at the joy of those children. All of us in some way should give back to the society, which is basically social entrepreneurship!

If you’re confused with social entrepreneurship with just helping the poor or some kind of a donation, then you’re surely mistaken. Yes, poverty being a major and a universal setback for the society, many of the organizations, entrepreneurs turn to that path but Shiza Shahid had some bigger plans. She is the co-founder and the global ambassador of the Malala Fund. As we all know, Malala Yousafzia, the symbol of World peace was shot by some men for asking for the education right, was firm about continuing the campaign for gender equality and education in Pakistan. Shiza, thought of taking a strategic and a safer move for Malala of starting a fund and approached her. This fund was finally created by the Standford University grad named after Malala back in 2012.

Social entrepreneurship basically is huge spectrum having variety of issues under it. If we go to dissect each aspect, it’ll take some years! This blogs covers just a tiny section of this broad spectrum. As long as there are social, environmental, cultural problems social entrepreneurship is going to live and thrive. Also, I feel India is the best place for social entrepreneurship. Every business has its problems but solving them can make a lot of lives happier. Social entrepreneurship has evolved from corporate to non-profit and now to self- sustaining ones and also has proved to give a better future to the people.

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