Ask anyone what they think about entrepreneurship, and the answer would always inevitably be that it’s all related to money-making. The common perception is that entrepreneurs care little about anything else other than profits and success. However, we will show you examples of social entrepreneurship that shatter this misconception and proves that many entrepreneurs care a lot about their contribution to society too.
A Brief Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship
Not a lot of people are aware of what social entrepreneurship entails. Basically, social entrepreneurs are people who endeavor to find solutions to social, cultural, or environmental problems. Any business or organization committed to using their company for social benefit is a social enterprise.
Yes, social entrepreneurship is a pretty broad term that encompasses a variety of businesses. There’s no fixed definition or limitation regarding the revenue that a company must earn to be termed as a social enterprise.
Let’s give you an example. Let’s say there’s a mutual aid fund that assists small businesses in progressing ahead. And there’s a big organization that works for education for the poor and underprivileged. Both fall under the category of a social enterprise. Because they are working for the benefit of society.
Some social enterprises don’t even have a typical business structure. They are mainly run by volunteers. On the other hand, there are some enterprises that run like any other business but with a different motive.
Social entrepreneurs endeavor to bring attention to problems society faces. They want to contribute to society in any way they can. Therefore, they set up businesses to create jobs and produce income. They can also be invaluable in paving the way for economic renewal in a country.
To put it in simple words, social entrepreneurship is about being a catalyst for social change, generating social value, and inspiring others.
The Importance of Social Entrepreneurship and the Difference It Can Make
What can we do to change things? One person’s efforts hardly make a difference.
Sounds familiar? Yes, this is what most people believe. They know there’s a problem but are unwilling to do anything about it because they feel it wouldn’t make a difference. This is how social entrepreneurs are different.
They don’t believe in watching anything from the sidelines. Instead, they look for opportunities to bring a change. And if they can’t find one, they create it themselves. Social entrepreneurs not only bring positive change locally but leave their impact globally.
Additionally, social entrepreneurs force others to take notice of pressing problems too. They inspire others to do good. These entrepreneurs ensure they use their ability to come up with great ideas to serve others.
And they don’t only inspire people. They have the power to influence government policies too. Indeed, there have been many instances worldwide where social entrepreneurs have managed to bring crucial societal changes using their support and ideas.
The Examples of Social Entrepreneurship: Sources of Inspiration
By now, it’s pretty clear what social entrepreneurship is all about. You might have seen a lot of social enterprises around you but failed to take notice. Here are some examples that will make it easier for you to understand how social enterprises work.
This Egyptian company has proven its commitment to encouraging social, environmental, and even personal development. It was established back in 1977 by Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish and since then has been invaluable to society.
The company produces herbal, medicinal, and aesthetically focused items catering to the needs of its customers. Additionally, it ensures that only biodynamic farms are used as a source of ingredients, thereby playing its role in the improvement of the environment.
It has also built an educational establishment where children are trained to give importance to creativity and analytical thinking. Yes, SEKEM has left no stone unturned to make society a better place for all.
This one was established in 2002 by an English celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. The idea was to give disadvantaged youths an opportunity to change their future and do well in their life. The name of the restaurant was a dedication to the 15 young people who entered apprenticeships under this program.
Fifteen has come a long way since then. To date, it has delivered food to patrons and also opened restaurants in Amsterdam and Cornwall. Not only that, it’s responsible for training 220 young locals in cooking and hospitality. It has also inspired people to pursue a career in the restaurant business.
Most people have heard of this brand, but not many know its backstory. Amul was founded back in 1946 as a response to unfair milk trade practices in India. Yes, someone decided to take matters into his own hands and put an end to unlawful practices back in the day.
Amul inspired local and marginalized farmers to detach from trade cartels and form their own cooperatives. And the model was immensely successful. There has been no looking back for the brand since then.
When talking about social entrepreneurs, we cannot forget this name. Mycoskie became a chief shoe giver after a trip to Argentina in 2006. He also founded TOMS shoes which pledged to donate a pair of shoes for every pair sold. He has expanded the brand since then, and it now supports water, birth, and anti-bullying initiatives as well.
Take Inspiration from Social Entrepreneurs Worldwide
We are only getting started. Indeed, there are many more examples of social entrepreneurship that you will find all around you. This proves that having an entrepreneurial mind does not only teach you to come up with ideas for money-making. You can also use your gift to do something beneficial for society.
It’s not even necessary that you undertake extensive measures. Even the biggest social initiatives start with a small step. All you have to do is be willing to take that first step, and before you know it, you will be making headways in the social world!