I heard someone say that business entrepreneurs are people who solve other people’s problems for profit. I believe that’s accurate. Now let’s take it to another level. A social entrepreneur solves societal problems on a large scale to create profit and social capital. Thus, the main aim of social entrepreneurship is to further social and environmental goals.
Just a few years ago, social entrepreneurship was seen as a kind of fringe movement of talented business people who just wanted to do the right thing in the world. Now, social entrepreneurship is a booming growth movement, employing over 50 million people in the world with an estimated 300 million volunteers to extend their reach. Is there a problem with a water system in a village? A social entrepreneur will find the solution when local governments are short on resources and typical businesses don’t see enough profit in it. Is there a food shortage in a region? social entrepreneurs will look to develop a better mouse trap where food can get directly to the people by creating a new infrastructure with the help of the very people they seek to serve. These are the people sustainable society leaders must create intimate relationships with to help implement their agenda.
Sustainable Society Leaders are the new leaders who now emphasize sustainability over expedience when making decisions in society’s leadership positions. An alliance between sustainable society leaders and social entrepreneurs could be one of the most important of our time. However, social entrepreneurship is not without its challenges. While there are many inspired individuals who seek to leverage their business understanding to help make a better world, they typically don’t succeed doing this kind of work unless they have a team and resources. This is where the sustainable society leader comes into play. The sustainable society leader can help identify the problems that exist in a society or community, send out a call to social entrepreneurs, then bring the stakeholders together to solve the problem. Not to take away the power of the individual, but large scale challenges need large scale teams. The success rate is better when teams of talent come together to tackle the issue.
The sustainable society leader can also help the social entrepreneur by doing necessary due diligence. The success rate for the social entrepreneur can increase dramatically when someone clearly outlines the problem, the politics and the people involved. The Shift will make this process a lot easier, but there will need to be someone spearheading this effort before the social entrepreneur puts boots on the ground. Even more, the sustainable society leader must run interference with the possible entrenched bureaucracies and professionals that may still hold out on old ideas. In order for the social entrepreneur to be effective, they will need a sort of peace negotiated by the Sustainable Society Leader that will support the social entrepreneur’s efforts.
The sustainable society leader can also serve to create a social entrepreneurship-friendly environment. Putting out the world that your community is looking for solutions that social entrepreneurs can bring is a welcome mat to people who see world service and profitability as married ideas.
Traditional thinking says that this is the territory for NGOs or charities. But the reality is that governments, charities or NGOs have been relatively unsuccessful at solving some of our oldest problems of hunger, poverty, social injustice, gender discrimination, environmental challenges and unsustainable practices. social entrepreneurship may not be the silver bullet that slays the dragon, but it is a strong step in the direction of sustainability by combining the best of both worlds — business methods with charity goals.
One of the real strengths of social entrepreneurship is its method of co-creation. The old top down model often used in emerging countries by industrialized countries of sending their people in to do the job for the locals (or as in the States – sending “experts” into poor communities) is not sustainable or respectful of those locals. Co-creation invites collaborative opportunities to emerge between locals and “guests” for the good of everyone involved. This is the very essence of social entrepreneurship. This foundation to sustainability means local control and support for an approach that empowers and inspires people than devalues them.
The power and influence of social entrepreneurs into the sustainability movement cannot be over emphasized. These people bring in levels of expertise and commitment needed to help form stable communities. Too often those communities had to suffer through the inexperience of NGOs, disinterest in the traditional business community, or the lack of innovation often systemic in government funded entities. An alliance between sustainable society leaders and social entrepreneurs can be an extremely powerful and effective new way forward in a world that will now demand different tools and different results to old problems.
I Help small business entrepreneurs to start and grow their business profitably. through strategic business planing,marketing,recruiting etc.