Saturday, January 14, 2017

Social entrepreneurship, a holy grail for societal development ?

An entrepreneur has a passion to create more value for society or self, be it in business, for-profit enterprises or non-profit enterprises, in return for a small reward, gain, profit, compensation or reciprocation. While the output or value creation to self or society remains the top priority and of high importance, the returns are second priority and may get delayed or offset in time ..

Social entrepreneurship is secondary to entrepreneurship, but with a definite and more noble purpose. Let us get to understand more definitions of the term social entrepreneurship.
Social entrepreneurship is the use of the techniques by start up companies and other entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues. This concept may be applied to a variety of organizations with different sizes, aims, and beliefs - Wikipedia (2017)
Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry - Ashoka CEO and Founder, Bill Drayton
Social entrepreneurs drive social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development. They pursue poverty alleviation goals with entrepreneurial zeal, business methods and the courage to innovate and overcome traditional practices. A social entrepreneur, similar to a business entrepreneur, builds strong and sustainable organizations, which are either set up as not-for-profits or companies - Schwab Foundation
social entrepreneur looks at creating lasting, extended, added value to society and not for self or community, through his or her output which usually impacts humanity, or in limited context a society through social, cultural, economic, environmental, poverty and health dimensions for returns that may not be solely monetary and may also include awards, recognitions, accolades, distinction and scholarship - George Easaw (2016) 
A social entrepreneur is a leader or pragmatic visionary who: (from Schwab Foundation)
  • Achieves large scale, systemic and sustainable social change through a new invention, a different approach, a more rigorous application of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these.
  • Focuses first and foremost on the social and/or ecological value creation and tries to optimize the financial value creation.
  • Innovates by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem. 
  • Continuously refines and adapts approach in response to feedback. 
  • Combines the characteristics represented by Richard Branson and Mother Teresa.
Click here for a good article on social entrepreneurship and how to influence society with social entrepreneurship.

Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa have been great social entrepreneurs who have given more to society (value) than what they have got back in return (salary) .. Mahatma Gandhi got respect, admiration and finally freedom in all its dimensions for Indians in return for virtually nothing, sacrificing his life. Mother Teresa has also been a similar individual serving the leper community of Kolkata expecting nothing in return. Kailash Satyarthi has dedicated his life and fights for the freedom of bonded labour and children denied a future by highlighting their problems across global forums and fighting for their rights.

Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya and Dr V. Govindaswamy of Aravind Eye Hospitals, Madurai have given more value to society (enhanced health, well being and higher productivity individuals) than what they have received from society (returns in terms of cash, awards, recognitions).. Dr Verghese Kurien, Dr. MS Swaminathan, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai have all been great social entrepreneurs who have influenced generations to come through their visionary thoughts and actions ..

Teaching is one profession where one can make a profound and lasting impact on the future of humanity, through the student community, consciously giving more to society (knowledge, in more semantic terms meaning great value to society, lasting generations and uplifting societies and countries), than what one takes out of it ..


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