The term ‘Entrepreneurship’ has gained a lot of importance of late. Different motivations have driven people to becoming entrepreneurs. Some have resorted to it in the hope of improving their quality of life. Others have attempted to plug an existing or potential lacuna in the market. For the majority, it is the prospect of being able to be their own boss and create value for the larger ecosystem. A lot of these are motivations pertaining to one’s personal desire for success and glory. But what makes this social? Let’s try to better understand this.
Imagine this! You make and sell bags for a living. This business yields good profit for your company and everyone is happy. But you have an inherent itch that makes you feel as if something vital is missing from the equation. This is where the ‘social’ entrepreneur latent within you begins to stretch its hitherto ignored wings. Being a social entrepreneur would lend you a different perspective to your existing business. For instance, you might then decide to get your bags manufactured by an underprivileged segment; or perhaps donate a percentage of your profits to your stakeholders, including those that are disadvantaged . It might even prompt you to employ eco-friendly practices within your manufacturing process.
When one’s entrepreneurial vision transcends profits, the venture takes on the mantle of something eminently more meaningful. And the person behind the venture becomes more than just an entrepreneur. They become ‘socialpreneurs’ otherwise known as social entrepreneurs!
The overriding question however is, ‘Why must entrepreneurs undertake any social cause when their business is doing well?’ The answer is as simple as it is profound! It is because they have the power! The power to make the world a better place. As Spiderman’s foster father rightly said while gently chiding the young super hero, ‘With great power comes great responsibility!’ Using that power in the right manner can go a long way in benefitting society.
One such unique cause was undertaken by three Australian men who aimed to give the poor proper access to sanitation. Aptly named as ‘Who Gives a Crap?’ this non-profit aimed to build toilets by selling toilet paper. This is made from 100% recycled paper and is chemical free. By doing this, the trio is not only helping society but the environment as well.
Social entrepreneurship is all about giving back! However, it needn’t be at the cost of making a profit, even though Profit is usually not the primary focus for social entrepreneurs. Interestingly, more often than not, the latter becomes a source of competitive advantage. Reaping spiritual benefits while making a difference is a heady mix most organizations can only dream of. But social entrepreneurs live by it!
So, what are you waiting for? Think new, think different and be a changemaker for your company and society today!