Diving into the idea of Entrepreneurship for a cause
Entrepreneurship today is not just embraced as an idea or a random concept about self-sufficiency through personal efforts in the field of business but is accepted on a wider scale as a norm. It is regarded as a norm that is directed towards changing the standard of life.
The change in the living standards looks like a goal so big but today the business geniuses have accepted the significance of this goal and are coming towards the idea of seeking a change not just for them but for all collectively.
Importance of society
Man is called a social animal who cannot strive alone. Any business or service is unable to prosper on its own unless it is supported by a number of people. We have seen global examples where the leading brands are ruling over the global economy based on their customers spread far and wide.
Business & innovation’s role
This takes us towards a second fact of finding the influence of a product or service on people’s minds. Customers today have become more rational and aware. They fully acknowledge the significance of opinions when the subject is about bringing innovation not just in the product but in people’s lives.
The theme of social change is very old. Many philosophers and thinkers over time have influenced upon directing efforts in bringing a change in the lives of the less privileged. This is why Marxism came into existence in the first place.
Marxism was not just a movement but was a reaction from the working class which questioned about the discrimination existing between the lives of bourgeois and the lower strata. It was quickly adopted by those who remained subject to discrimination throughout their lives.
Marxism & Entrepreneurship
Hence, the sparks of Marxism were the ones who had reached the doors of modern corporate culture and started impacting entrepreneurship as well. This is because the start-ups who gained immense recognition in the common man kept on ruling without acknowledging the efforts made by their team in making them the leading brands.
So, when entrepreneurship started flourishing in the modern world, it got a new concept immersed in it. It was an attempt to answer all the calls made by those who themselves were unaware of market tactics. There were a number of social issues which remained unsolved even in the later part of the 21st century.
Introduction of social entrepreneurship
Hence “social entrepreneurship” was introduced. It is an affair of the business world that meets right with sociology and the quality of life. It is an effort to dissolve any existing boundaries between the varying social classes by resolving their issues.
A wider definition of social entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurship is an approach, “which is aimed to deal with the social issues alongside creating opportunities in the society which can bring a true social change.”
Difference between social entrepreneurship & social work
As a management learner, you don’t need to jumble it up with social work because these two factors are different. Social work deals with solving the social issues on a group basis by various efforts so that in the end every human finds a better society to live in. On the other hand, social entrepreneurship is all about creating opportunities in order to end the boundaries of discrimination and it further tends to resolve the social issues present in the society through its origin.
Keyways for social entrepreneurship
Based on these differences, one can come to the description of social entrepreneurship in two key ways
- One is creating opportunities that intend to bring a social change
- The second is tackling the issues present in the society to ensure a better society as the end goal
Why do we need social entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship is needed badly to bring reforms in the society where there are very few opportunities intending to bring out a positive change. The global market cares about the profit in the market only.
When the profit division is unjust and only the rich ones stand alone as the ultimate ruling authority, it can lead to a social reaction.
The reaction is against those who are the players of the global world. It is against the agents of discrimination leading the members of lower strata to commit crimes and indulge in affairs against the stability of a civilized society.
So, there is a need of starting ventures which serve as rescuers for those belonging to the lower strata and aims to bring civilization and welfare to society.
Social entrepreneurship when it starts tackling the issues present in the society unconsciously is intending to bring an immediate solution to those problems in the practical form.
Once there will be equal distribution of opportunities between different starts, there will no longer remain the need for illegal activities to sustain. It is also a solution to the economic chaos existing between different social groups.
It can be associated with a giant venture in the business market which ultimately alters the standard of living bringing positive results. The economy thus becomes stable because of the availability of enough manpower and talent to initiate various start-ups.
Who can be a social entrepreneur?
Anyone who understands that a business is not just directed towards getting monetary profit but becomes successful in its truest form right when a number of people benefit from it. This benefit can be monetary or can be in terms of opportunity provision.
There is a huge number of people who tend to be entrepreneurs to benefit themselves but that goes against the ethics of an ideal businessman. An ideal businessman is the one who understands the significance of making a change not just for himself but for all who are associated with him.
Any person who understands that social entrepreneurship is a necessity to eliminate social injustices can think of being a social entrepreneur.
It should be noted that here the aim is different from conventional entrepreneurship as your goal is directed towards the benefit of a wider population, not just at the individual level only.
What are the responsibilities and duties of a social entrepreneur?
A social entrepreneur has a very significant role in deciding the future of a certain society. It is up to him to decide wisely and initiate measures that are not short-term solutions but are beneficial for the public for a long time.
The prime duty of a social entrepreneur
Although the prime duty of a social entrepreneur only revolves around bringing a social change by the power of his venture, yet there are some other responsibilities on his list that he needs to observe to succeed in his mission.
Duties of a social entrepreneur
The duties of a social entrepreneur are listed below that you need to observe if you are into the welfare of humanity for your cause.
- You need to be reasonable enough to start the venture.
- You target a specific problem at a time.
- You need to have that understanding of the problem from the grassroots level.
- You know about the rules and regulations.
- You advertise for your cause.
- You are not biased.
- You create opportunities for others with the help of your venture.
- Your end goal comprises the profit for the wider use.
Wisdom & Reasoning
Every decision made by an individual is fully developed based on his thought pattern. If you have second thoughts about a certain thing, then you should leave that very thought in that corner of your brain to vanish at its all.
If you intend to be a social entrepreneur, you need to have a lot of wisdom to understand the whole procedure in its complete context.
You can never expect yourself to fully devote yourself to the cause if your end goal is different than bringing a kind of change. As a social entrepreneur, you need to think about the fact that what it means to you if your venture provides a solution to a certain issue. You need to develop an idea about the process of the social change which you intend to bring through your business idea.
You need to know that it is not a spontaneous process that takes place in the blink of an eye. You need to be patient enough to first incorporate your problem-solving skills and then wait for the results. If you know that you cannot stick to it completely then you should let go of the idea at the first step.
You also need to analyze whether the problem which is considered a problem to you is actually an issue of the majority.
This is because you in this case are somehow at the top of the tier, so you might not be able to evaluate the problem as efficiently as someone from that specific tier might. So, keep their opinions in mind too while you are mapping the plan in your mind.
One problem at a time
No human can turn into a magician who chants the charm of “abracadabra” and all the problems disappear from society in a second. As a human being, you know that there are enormous problems waiting to be solved and no one has the capability to solve them all at a time.
This is why you need to concentrate on a specific problem at a certain time.
When you are devoting your skills to providing a real-time solution to a single problem, you can eliminate that problem from society rather than trying to eliminate wide issues all at once.
So, direct your skills to one single problem. For example: In many societies, child marriage is seen as a very problematic issue that needs a fine solution. So, center your strategies upon solving this problem and start a venture that can, later on, assist law enforcement agencies to eliminate this sin from society.
A good way of founding a start-up to eliminate a certain social evil might be the plan of making a shelter home or funding for an organization that aims to save the women’s rights to live and educate by preventing early marriages. This is just a single example that is intended to tell you how focusing on a single problem at a certain time can bear great results in society.
Understanding the problem
Think about your school time where you always achieved good grades right when you understood the subjects fully. This is why understanding is a necessary part of every real-life problem as well. You can never expect to get success in your mission if you are not fully aware of the mission itself at first.
As a social entrepreneur, when you intend to resolve a certain problem apparently existing in society, you need to have full command over the problem.
You need to know why the problem originated in the first place and under which circumstances it elevated to being a burning issue.
This will not only assist you in getting an idea about your own efforts which are needed to eliminate it but will help you build up the right kind of strategy which is needed to end this. It can also answer you the reason for choosing this problem specifically out of the other evils present.
Let us give you a practical example of that. The Ford foundation laid down by the great automobile giant Ford autos tends to serve for prevailing social justice in every sphere of life and specifically economic justice. This is because during the Second World War, the economy became miserable and thousands were forced to die of hunger.
This was because of the policies of the governments which made the workers suffer, so in the year 1936, Ford intended to give a platform to those who had experienced inequality at the hands of the time. The owners of Ford understood the need of the time and got the idea of the withering of their employees because of the situation.
This helped them make others understand their cause and their efforts to eliminate equality by providing equal opportunities to all. That is why the foundation remains actively functioning with its original vision till this day and a part of ford’s income goes directly to the foundation to make lives better for the underprivileged.
Rules & Regulations
You know that when a cause is grand, the hurdles on its way also get bigger. Therefore, as a social entrepreneur, your test becomes double. It just does not remain a test of developing a fine idea to help society but it also becomes a challenge for you to obey all the rules and regulations implemented by the law enforcing agencies.
There are certain limitations enforced by the authorities to make things feasible for all. If you are only considering your cause as the magnificent of all then you are automatically creating another issue instead of resolving one.
So, always be careful about the greater rules and try to abide by them fully. This will help your venture as well since, in the end, no one can claim it to be the origin of illegal efforts. It will stand as an embodiment of civilization portraying the very basic message of not crossing the boundaries which our society implements on every single one of us.
Advertisement is becoming a new normal. The way it is important for a conventional entrepreneur to advertise correctly and with a strategy, it is equally significant for a social entrepreneur. This will let others understand your cause and they will also contribute on their part.
Multinational brands have adopted the idea of social entrepreneurship for a very long time and there are a number of occasions when we see them advertising over our T.V or mobile screens for various causes.
You all remember how Coca-Cola strongly advocated for providing children education globally and in this regard, they requested individual contributions as well. In the same way, Proctor and Gamble advocated for providing sanitary napkins to ensure reproductive health in underdeveloped countries by inducing the public to contribute by the purchase of Always sanitary napkins.
These kinds of examples tell us how influential a right kind of advertisement can be.
You can get support for your cause and it gets stronger than ever if many people support it. Not only the support is a gift but you also find economic benefit to invest in the venture aimed at solving the problem.
Lacking any biases
As a business person, you need to learn the very basic lesson of progress. Never intend to be biased whenever you are about to make an important decision. As a social entrepreneur, this role even gets stronger because here there is no limit for any sort of biases at all.
If you only want the acknowledgment and financial benefit through your venture, then never commit the mistake of being a social entrepreneur. Here, you are needed to be answerable to those with whom you have promised to resolve the problem.
So, if you are not being honest with their goals and are just finding social entrepreneurship as a way to go with the flow, then you can never even get near to the profit as well. This is because you are being biased towards people’s cause by prioritizing your own benefit at the end.
This can turn deadly for your company’s reputation as well.
This is because when you have raised the slogan of issue resolution at first and then have done practically nothing to resolve the problem, then even your potential clientele will turn up against you making things bothersome for you.
The purpose of any business is the benefit of the public. You can never expect to prosper without thinking about the benefit your business will provide to its clients later on. Therefore, it becomes a primary duty of yours to make it valuable for others as well.
As a social entrepreneur, you should keep in mind that your venture must be meaningful enough that it creates opportunities for others. You should know that the worth of your venture is based upon the number of people who benefit from it.
Whenever it’s social entrepreneurship, it becomes essential for the entrepreneur to make it people-friendly.
You can either create opportunities by starting a venture that is solely based on providing opportunities to the underprivileged or can use their skills as a means to bring social change.
Many internationally acclaimed businesses understand the significance of manpower and the role of equal opportunities. They have introduced certain roles to the talented lot. The best example is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With the help of this foundation, Microsoft has provided opportunities to millions of people to excel in the educational, technical as well as technological spheres over the years.
Profit for all
As a social entrepreneur, you need to make it a norm that the profit your venture makes must be used for the wider population, not for the owner of the company’s further ventures. A portion of your profit must go in the bucket of those who are needing it most.
You can employ this profit as an amount to be used to eliminate the issues from society. Many of the international brands are following this norm over the course of time which has helped a lot to eliminate certain issues.
There have been wider campaigns against different diseases as well as the recent pandemic from the side of the brands. This has helped them garner sufficient medical and technical support for patients all over the world.
This can also help your business to grow wider because when your money will be used for good reasons, there is a likely chance that clients will prefer your business over the others in town. This is because of the unique ambition with which you enter into the mainstream market.
Social entrepreneurship is indeed a chance for an entrepreneur to use the skills for a better purpose. If you are willing to become one, you need to understand the deeper meanings hiding under the connotation so that in the end your venture proves itself to be the one made really for the welfare of society, changing a number of lives.
The author is an M.Phil scholar conducting her thesis in Literature. As a sucker for literature, she swoons over Greek and South Asian fiction while reviewing books in her spare time. Her love for writing has made her expand her subject matter and now she pens her opinions frequently on business, finance, entrepreneurship, lifestyle, history, and literature. For a special connection with entrepreneurship, she opens up the details occasionally about it.