Social entrepreneurship is the practice of making an endeavor to help and provide solutions to the problems of society. Social entrepreneurship makes use of the various entrepreneurial principles in order to create an endeavor, organize and manage it to promote change in society. The difference between a social entrepreneur and a business entrepreneur is that the former does not just aim to make profit, but he truly aspires to make a positive impact on society.
Objectives of Social Entrepreneur
The objectives vary from one social entrepreneur to another, depending on which aspect of society they are trying to help out. But the main point there is to help others through their work. In essence, it is about making a contribution or giving back to society.
Below are some of the general objectives of social entrepreneurship.
- Improve the quality of education being offered in a particular society.
- Promote environmental awareness and protect the environment.
- Provide better opportunities to the underprivileged.
- Help the elderly live better, secure lives.
- Protect the animals, giving them food and shelter.
- Give assistance to those who are hit by calamities, crisis, and emergency situations
- Fund research groups to find cure to certain illnesses
Take note that not all social entrepreneurs involve themselves in such endeavors to profit and help society. In fact, others do not even aim to profit at all, and they only plan to earn enough money to fund their cause. For them, their contribution is more than enough gratification for themselves.
How to Become a Social Entrepreneur
While there are many approaches to social entrepreneurship, four rules have become widely used today.
Rule 1: Choose an endeavor that you are passionate about. If you have ever tried out for the baseball team or the drama club in 5th grade, you would know what it is like to work hard on something that you are passionate about. Do you remember wanting something so bad you worked endless hours just to achieve it? This works the same way in entrepreneurship. You must engage in something that matters to you so that the fire within you will never die down. For example, if you are genuinely concerned about the fate of the elderly then you can focus your endeavor on this aspect.
Rule 2: Get other people’s inputs. It does not hurt to open up to other people about your plans. They may be able to help out and provide you with brilliant ideas. Talk to a handful of people you trust and keep your mind open.
Rule 3: Create a business plan. Just like any business endeavor, you must have a solid business plan for this. Conduct your own feasibility study, make a plan, and do not forget to also make a backup plan.
Rule 4: Act on it. Do not be afraid to materialize your dreams. As long as you have the heart and the plan, you cannot go wrong with your endeavor. Take that giant leap and get started with what you want to do.
Resources and Support for Social Entrepreneurs
For social entrepreneurs who do not have enough means to fund their ventures, there are certain organizations that can help. There are certain requirements to be met before their support can be availed but in the overall, they aim to help social entrepreneurship gain success in their chosen endeavor. Below are three popular organizations that can provide assistance to you:
1. Acumen Fund
This organization is a non-profit group that operates globally to help lower the poverty rate. They assist various corporations to serve the poor people all over the world through their investments that focus on housing, health, water, and energy provisions.
Ashoka provides financial and professional support to social entrepreneurs in at least 60 countries in order to address urgent problems of society. This organization works by giving financial and professional support to various social entrepreneurs, hold meetings and get-togethers among social entrepreneurs, and provide systems that promote innovation and progress in society.
3. Schwab Foundation
A not-for-profit organization that began in 1998, the Schwab Foundation aims to advance social entrepreneurs in order to promote innovations in society and to encourage progressive change. They select at least 20 social entrepreneurs to support annually, and they also work with select companies globally to introduce initiatives that will help society.