Social Entrepreneurship Dummies Guide – Before going into the details about how social entrepreneurship can bring about change in the society. We first need to understand what a social entrepreneur is and what do we mean by social entrepreneurship.
Who is a social entrepreneur?
Social entrepreneurs are visionaries who try to bring about positive change in the society by practically applying their social entrepreneurship ideas and strategies to resolve social problems in the society. These problems are vast and diverse in nature. They are threats not only limited to a particular community or region, but they are global in nature, some of the common social issues and problems are-inadequate education and health facilities and system, environmental threats, declining and inefficient political systems and governance, poverty, unemployment, inequality based on gender ,caste and creed; increase in crime rates and so on.
A social entrepreneur is an individual who works with an initiative to develop pioneering ideas and solutions for the existing social problems and issues faced by the society. They try to resolve these problems by changing the system of working and mind set of people, by spreading awareness about how to tackle these problems and issues; and developing social entrepreneurship resources to empower the community. They try to convince the society as a whole to think on different dimensions and directions. Social entrepreneurs develop simple comprehensible ideas which people can understand and use for the betterment and development of the society. Their aim is to identify and create efficient change makers or role models, who will in turn motivate the masses to develop their own ideas, solutions and strategies to resolve these social issues. In short a social entrepreneur is an agent or mediator who thrives to bring about positive change in the society.
How do these social entrepreneurs function?
They firstly analyse the social problem/issue to be tackled. Try to find out the underlying causes and roots of the problem, this is done through thorough social entrepreneurship research, field analysis findings, surveys and observation methods. Then they study and link them in terms with the existing societal patterns and emerging social entrepreneurship trends in the society. Then ideas and strategies are developed for bringing in change in the mind set of the people, bringing change in their lifestyle and attitude. By doing this they try to identify and develop change makers from the society itself, these change makers work as role models, motivators and leaders to bring about positive progressive changes in the entire system.
These change makers form a team, social entrepreneurship network with each other and create a platform for people with similar goals and objectives. This platform allows interchange of ideas, feedbacks and development of effective strategies to resolve the problem. This platform also associates the funders who want to associate themselves with bringing about positive change in the society along with the change makers. The social entrepreneurs work in collaboration with social innovators, funders, grass root leaders, social workers, and community organisations to bring about effective long lasting social changes in the society.
What does social entrepreneurship mean?
So we know who a social entrepreneur is, now we need to understand what social entrepreneurship means. Social entrepreneurship is a process through which we try to resolve social entrepreneurship problems and issues by the use of social entrepreneurship business techniques. Here the entrepreneur not only aims at improving the performance and profit of his own organisation, but also aims at providing positive profits to the society. There is no concrete definition of social entrepreneurship, as people from diverse fields are associated with it- philosophers, social activists, environmentalists and socially oriented professionals. Social entrepreneurs have different strategies for bringing about change in the society, some provide contracted work to public establishments; others provide social entrepreneurship funding in the form of grants and donations, develop social and economic assets and resources for the community as a whole.
What Social Entrepreneurship focuses on?
Social entrepreneurship focuses on gaining understanding of how a social problem develops and how an entrepreneur with the use of his innovative practical ideas and business strategies develop solutions to resolve the problem; and motivates him to utilize the available social entrepreneurship resources to overcome the problem to benefit the society as a whole. Social entrepreneurs focus at utilising the various available resources to create a better and progressive society. As social entrepreneurship does not have a concrete definition, groups focused on social entrepreneurship can be categorised into:
- Community based enterprises; these are based on societal ventures. The community as a whole utilises the capital to empower itself.
- Socially conscientious enterprises; these enterprises focus on sustainable development through social gains.
- Social service organisations and professionals; these work to expand social capital for individuals, community and organisations,
- Socio economic enterprises, these focus upon bringing about profits to the individuals and non profit social change in the community.
Apart from these there are organisations which focus on empowerment of the social entrepreneurs; they create a platform to connect these social entrepreneurs with like minded people, mentors and funding agencies. They help in further strengthening and fortification of the various social entrepreneurship model.
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Factors in Success of Social entrepreneurship
The success of social entrepreneurship highly depends on the social entrepreneurship skills, talent and qualities present in a social entrepreneur. These social entrepreneurs with their innate talents and skills can bring about major positive social changes in the society. To bring about this change they need to:
Identify the social issue/problem
Social entrepreneurs are zealous about solving the problem in the society. They have an urge to take positive steps to resolve these issues by means of social action and resource development. This may include bringing in change in the working pattern of the system, changing the mind set and attitude of people, creating awareness or pulling in resources for better social entrepreneurship and education, health or livelihood facilities.
Developing a social mission
Focus should be on social ventures. These ventures should attempt to improve the community infrastructure, livelihood of the people, improve the standard of living of the individuals, and facilitate improvement in the environment. The social entrepreneur should always focus on how profits of the organisation can be utilized for the benefit of the community and environment
Every social entrepreneur should develop plans and strategies which would determine the efficient management of the problems. He will have to identify the resources which would make the mission a success. This may require him to seek support from like minded people, experts in the field and funders who would support him financially to achieve the goals and objectives. He will also require local help from people to identify prospective change makers, who would act as role models to for the masses to persuade them to bring in social change through positive mindset and action.
Develop sustainable models
The entrepreneurs aim should be to develop such a business that would not only bring in profit for his organisation, but would also benefit the society as a whole. They need to develop such future strategies which would provide sustainable livelihood, income and resources to the people of the community.
For successful social entrepreneurship, one needs to regularly assess the results and outcomes. This can be done through monitoring and evaluation of the social impact developed through the venture. Example of a social entrepreneurship has the venture resulted in developing any kind of employment, if yes how many people have benefitted from it, has there been any change in the standard of living of the people in the community, has it been able to increase and develop social and economic resources in the community. These informations need to be recorded, firstly for future comparison of the social entrepreneurship development process, and to make the masses aware of the achievements of the mission and how it has impacted in bringing around positive social change. Recording or documentation will further help in developing efficient strategies and plans for future advancement and improvements. This will also assist in identifying what more resources and support systems are required to make the venture more successful and effective.
People perceive that changing the society for the better is just impossible; it requires lots of effort and resources. Whereas the social change process can begin with a single determined individual; who strives and dreams for the betterment of the community as a whole. One should have a vision and mission to make the society a better place to live. An individual who can deeply understand and analyse the social issues and problems, can analyse the underlying reasons and factors responsible for such a problem; can develop ideas ,practical strategies and solutions to tackle them can start a positive initiative to bring in positive change in the society.
In this process of social entrepreneurship one needs to generate a support system in the form of prospective change makers, role models, leaders and funders who would assist in bringing about the required social change. The process of positive social change in the society brought in through social entrepreneurship will influence, benefit and enlighten many other fields. Donors and patrons will find an avenue to invest their grants and funds, policy makers will get idea of developing similar problem solving model which will benefit the nation as a whole, professionals will find new employment and career platforms, the youth will get inspiration and motivation to become prospective change makers and will be encouraged to participate in the change making process.
Characteristics of Social Entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurship is a platform or way in which people come together and work to create an equal, just and sustainable society. They should work to bring in positive social, economic and environmental outcomes for the society. Characteristics of Social entrepreneurship are as followed :
- It should be based on the values of equality and justice.
- Its objectives should focus on investing the surplus on development of resources for the community and not just making economic profit.
- The organisation structure and composition should be based on the collective and joint principles
Social entrepreneurs develop employment and livelihood opportunities, they provide on the job training and other types of social entrepreneurship training program to the unemployed, disabled and vulnerable youth. They develop practical strategies to overcome the social problems, for example through micro finance policies they provide livelihood and economic security to unemployed, women and the underprivileged section of the community. They create social capital for poverty alleviation and economic development. They strive to create equality and justice in the society.
In short we can say that social entrepreneurship is the process through which a social entrepreneur tries to bring in positive and effective change in the society, by tackling various social issues and problems in a proficient way. The social entrepreneur develops a mission and vision to bring in change in the society. They possess innate talent and qualities to understand and analyse the social problems. They are able to develop creative innovative ideas and strategies to help alleviate these problems from the society as a whole. They believe in developing and creating change makers, they empower these change makers to motivate the masses to participate actively in the change making process. They further develop support systems in the form of funders and social entrepreneurshipresources which would bring in strategic change in the life of the individuals.
Social entrepreneurs focus on developing an equal and just society, by providing economic and social security to the members of the society, by providing them livelihood opportunities and by raising the standard of living of the people. They bring in policy changes through effective decision making, for the betterment of the community, by providing them with problem solving models. They not only work for economic profit but invest the surplus profit to create social and economic assets and social entrepreneurship resources for the community. They act as role models to motivate the youth to initiate action to bring positive social change in the society. The social entrepreneurs address global problems such as poverty, unemployment, gender inequality, inadequate education and health facilities and policies, inefficient governance and so on. They create a global platform for like minded people who work as team to fight these issues.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the social entrepreneurship so just go through the link.