Paradigm shifts by definition are revolutionary changes in how we view, conceive or approach a particular issue. I believe we are witnessing a paradigm shift when it comes to business. More than ever before we are witnessing nonprofits and charities enter the business arena as they try to find ways to survive amidst declining donations and government funding. Private businesses on the other hand are creating greater and greater transparency in the they way they do business. They want to be socially responsible and sustainable. All of this is fueled in large part, by a large demographic group of people, young and old alike, who challenge the status quo every day to say that they want the world to be different and are no longer willing to sit on the sidelines and witness history, but instead want to be part of the change.
Social enterprise is not new. Generations ago, we lived in communities, we knew our neighbours, we helped each other. Most household had the capacity to earn their living– most were entrepreneurs in one form or another.
Over the last few centuries, we have lost our sense of community. We no longer know our neighbours. This strange new world does little to ease the isolation and loneliness we feel. In our desolation, social media has helped us to realize that these feelings are not limited to just one person, but represent entire generations that want to live a different way, that want to reclaim our connection to each other as human beings, regardless of race, religion, age, gender or other divisions we have used in the past. Part of this movement, is creating accountability in one another for the choices we make each day. We used to have this in our communities, but as our world grew we lost the connections to each other that held us accountable.
Social enterprise sits at the juxtaposition of commerce and social impact. It is the vehicle we have created to improve the neighbourhoods, communities, and world we live in. Social enterprise is the way we will create a better planet for next generations, and how we will start to hold each other accountable as humans for the choices we make, the lives we live and all that we leave behind us after our time on Earth ends. It is both our connection to each other as humans, but also as neighbours, friends, and family that will hold us accountable.
For this reason, my team and I created the Social Entrepreneur. It is a place where you come to find information, products and practical hacks to being a social entrepreneur. It is also a place you can come to get advice from a friend, find out the latest in cool tech for small business and connect to others who share a similar life philosophy.
In our first issue, I want to introduce you to our contributors from Kate Lazier, our legal expert at Thomson Mills, to Bart Mika who will teach you the latest in small business technology. You can challenge your entrepreneurial fears with Nick van der Velde, or find out more about social enterprise from our in-house team of experts. You can also read about the great work other social entrepreneurs like you are doing, like Guusto, Velomobile and SnugVest and the positive changes they are making in the world around them.
So let me introduce you the Social Entrepreneur and please feel free to connect with us on Facebook and via Twitter @socentmagazine.We look forward to your ideas and comments, as we grow and create our own community of social entrepreneurs.