Social entrepreneurs are innovators when it comes to social transformation. These developments cover different areas such as health, education, enterprise, and environment. They also aim to improve current and traditional social practices which will help reduce the poverty line. How can social entrepreneurs contribute to a more sustainable community towards economic growth? Read below to find out more about the functions of social entrepreneurs in the society.
How Do Social Entrepreneurs Contribute to Society?
1. Adopting a mission to create social value
Social entrepreneurs are mission-driven individuals. It is their mission to determine the society’s current pressing needs and come up with solutions. They also draw the line between social entrepreneurs and businessmen. Social entrepreneurs measure the scale of positive change opposite to profit-based success. These entrepreneurs also aim for the long-term social benefit of entrepreneurship to make lasting changes and improvements.
2. Recognizing and persistently pursuing new prospects
Social entrepreneurs are constantly looking for prospects. They constantly develop their ventures to better serve their desired beneficiaries. Social entrepreneurs are also persistent. They always have a positive approach to tackling social issues which are often solutions-based.
3. Engaging in the process of continuous innovation
Where other entrepreneurs may see a dilemma, social entrepreneurs find opportunity. Social entrepreneurs adapt to current market needs and business trends. This is their key motivation in helping those who are in need. Focus and determination are also the social entrepreneur’s most valued traits and character assets.
4. Using ingenuity when in lack of resources
Social entrepreneurs work with what they have while finding other alternative sources. This enables them to meet the demands while working on a limited budget. They also efficiently use their resources and use this as a leverage to draw in partners or collaborators to complete their plans.
5. Accountability to the communities they serve
Social entrepreneurs understand how the society values time and money invested. They also aim to provide genuine social improvements to the society they are serving. A market-like feedback is important to make sure they are reinforcing accountability within the communities.
6. Game changers in the social sector
Social reform is the concept and the goal of every social entrepreneur. They apply changes on traditional practices for everyone’s benefit. Social entrepreneurs also focus on the root cause of the problem. They then analyze and provide a working solution for the long term. This now results in changes which are viable and sustainable from one generation to another.
7. Employment development
One of the most important contributions of social entrepreneurship in the economy is the creation of jobs and employment. The social entrepreneurship sector also employs around one to seven percent of the working class. They provide employment to the unemployed, disabled, and gender-discriminated women among others.
Social Ventures and Non-Profit Organization
Within this social enterprise, there are various kinds of organizational models. Businesses can also adopt these models in order to create a lasting impact on the society. These organizational models are:
1. Social Business Ventures
This is a business set up as a for-profit social enterprise. The goal is to provide a social or ecological service to a specific group. This also involves the use of profits to improve the program in terms of better living conditions and economic growth. This doesn’t include, however, any pursuit to increase individual financial gain.
2. Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations (or not-for-profit organizations) specifically target a group in response to the inability of the government to support their needs. These organizations typically rely on donations and humanitarian help in its operations. They can include both private and public organizations (public-private partnerships may be included), depending on the social problem it hopes to lessen or eliminate. Entrepreneurs in non-profit organizations also seek donations from large companies. These companies have a dedicated corporate social responsibility and a history of donating to non-profit organizations.
3. Hybrid Non-Profit Ventures
Hybrid non-profit ventures are a combination of both the non-profit organizations and business ventures. They also generate the revenue through selling goods and providing services. Their primary source of income also relies on donations.
However, entrepreneurs in this category also look into funding hybrid social innovations. These are government grants set aside for specific markets. These companies also reinvest all profits made similar to a non-profit organization. They then use the profits from their sales to continue expanding their projects.
Social Entrepreneurship Program for Students
There are several opportunities for the younger generations who want to take part in making social improvements. These opportunities provide young students a way to get involved with non-profit and hybrid organizations.
The SCNO is a program which partners students with non-profit organizations. Students are among the game changers who pursue social and ecological change. This will provide opportunities for communities to benefit from, including those below the poverty line. To find out more details, visit their site here.
2. Food Recovery Network
The Food Recovery Network is one of the most successful non-profit organizations started by a student. Ben Simon is on the list of successful social entrepreneurs after launching this program while he was a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park. He started originally as a service provider. He collects unused food from campuses to feed homeless people. They, then, expanded to collecting unused leftovers from private restaurants around their neighborhood. Also, the movement continued to expand in other cities and states.
His social mission to help feed the homeless and reduce food waste is an inspiration to many. This also won him two social entrepreneurship contests, seed money to start the FRN, and propelled him to continue doing good for the society’s welfare.
3. Building Tomorrow
Another non-profit organization to consider is the Building Tomorrow also started by a student. George Srour founded this company while he was a student at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He was also an intern at the UN to improve educational facilities in Uganda. Building Tomorrow is dedicated to building schools in poor, rural areas.
Since its foundation, BT built 56 schools and plans to build more. As a reward for their successful projects, they’ve received multiple awards and recognition. This also includes a visit to one of their schools by former president Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton.
Learn more about social entrepreneurs and their contribution to the society in this video from SENS MREŽA:
Social entrepreneurs provide a positive influence dedicated to making a change towards better communities and better lives. The social and environmental sectors will benefit most from the functions of social entrepreneurs within the society. Also, with the successful implementation of these changes, we can expect a rise in the number of social entrepreneurs. Researchers believe millennials are now after finding their purpose as individuals. Being a social entrepreneur can be one option for them to explore and pursue this.
In what other ways can social entrepreneurs contribute to making the society better? Do share your suggestions in the comments section below.