“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
There is one constant in life and that is: change.
Change is a necessary part of the human condition. It challenges you and makes you grow. Importantly, change enables you to transcend your previous limits in order to reach new heights. You are able to overcome new obstacles that you once believed impossible.
In essence, to “change the world” means to “change your self.” While it can be very difficult to impose changes on others or the environment around you, you certainly have the greatest influence in first developing yourself and then your sphere of influence – usually through your social business.
What is Social Enterprise?
|In order to help others and our planet, individuals are sometimes given a choice, especially if you want your vocation to be dedicated to making social impact.
You can either join a non-government organisation which is usually not-for-profit. The challenge with these, especially in developing countries, is that NGOs often lack innovation, over-reliance on donors and the donor agenda, poor financial sustainability and underdevelopment of its own people. (I’ve worked with a number of them so I understand these challenges).
You can also join a government department or a multilateral organisation. The challenge with these is that governments and multi-government bodies often face politicization, national self-interest, reliance on the political will of the government of the day, and strong bureaucratic measures which can hamper innovation and new ideas from flourishing. (I’ve also worked with a number of these, too).
Of course in some fields, NGOs and government do have their place. Nevertheless, there must be another alternative for people who want to do good, without having to deal with several of the major problems faced by NGOs and governments.
From the leadership of Social Enterprises and Social Entrepreneurs worldwide, there is a third way.
Social enterprise and social entrepreneurship puts forward the idea that the entrepreneurial spirit and business ideas are not in conflict with social impact. In fact, with the strong emphasis on innovation, financial sustainability, scalability, and securing top quality people, I would argue that social entrepreneurs and social enterprise have the ability to fill in the gaps where the public sector fails.
Traditional businesses are modelled only on a single bottom-line, i.e. profit. However, social businesses are modelled on a triple bottom-line, i.e. people, planet and profit. “People” refers to ‘human capital’, as social businesses focus on the fair and beneficial business practices for their staff and the community in which the business operates. “Planet” is related to ‘natural capital’ because social businesses engage in environmentally sustainable business practices. Finally, “Profit” refers to the real economic value and benefit enjoyed by the host community, along with the internal profit made by the social business.
I’ve often asked myself: If social organizations are encouraging their beneficiaries to be innovative, self-reliant take initiative and be financially sustainable in their individual lives, shouldn’t these organizations themselves be examples of innovation, self-reliance, initative and sustainability?
In my point of view, social enterprise – through its social impact and self-sustainability – acts as a force for change that it wants to see in the world.
And its the social entrepreneurs who are the drivers of these social enterprises and social businesses.
You as a Social Entrepreneur
|With the growing movement of social business, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, you have the power to join those who want to do good and do well.
Whether you’re wanting to start your own social enterprise, or you want to make your own organisation more entrepreneurial, or business more socially responsible, you can access free resources that can innovate and inspire you to take action to develop yourself and improve your system of social impact.
It’s true that there are plenty of naysayers out there in the world. I’ve met many of them and have had to face them myself. Whether it’s from family, friends or colleagues, you can often feel disheartened that your hopes and dreams to make the world a better place will never be able to turn into reality. But take heart. You can always turn to this website and this community here, and it is my purpose to encourage you to continue on. For often, there is a deep reason why you imagine something better. Often the reason is because you, and only you, have the power to make it a reality.
This purpose is bigger than you are, and you can’t let others bring you down.
Tools to Help You On Your Social Entrepreneurship Journey
As you build and develop your social entrepreneurial path, I have collected some of my posts to help you.
Below are some of the most popular posts that I think can begin you on your way to changing the world.
If you’re reading this, I believe you and I are kindred spirits – that we truly have something in common. We both have the inner drive to wanting to leave the world a better place. If you have any other questions or suggestions, please contact me, and I’ll try my very best to help you.
All-Time Popular Posts
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