What is social entrepreneurship? What are its impacts? Why has it become such a dominant discussion topic? I asked myself these questions when I was first introduced to the term “social entrepreneurship” in junior high. Quite honestly, I was puzzled by the concept, because how do you reconcile the terms “Charity” and “Profit”?
Social entrepreneurship is, in essence, an enterprise that profits off an idea which tackles cultural, social, or environmental issues. Although a simple definition, many were quick to label social entrepreneurship as impractical and naive. But is it really?
As seen with Colalife, an organization that uses Coca Cola crates to deliver medicine to isolated, poverty-stricken areas, social entrepreneurship is definitely not impossible to achieve. In fact, it may become the future of innovation. With increased pressure for consumer choice and businesses to be socially responsible, social entrepreneurship is gaining a momentum of support.
In addition, social entrepreneurship has been made much easier to achieve with crowdfunding. By raising money from a large number of people through the internet, individuals who have innovative ideas can achieve their goals without powerful connections or the approval of the richest in society. Colalife is again, a great example. The organization was able to be launched not because of it received the approval of major investors, but rather because it gained the hearts of people around the globe. After registering to the crowdsource funding platform, Buzzbnk,in 2011, Colalife raised over 3000 pounds to launch their ideas.
Profiting off of ideas that make an impact in society is very much attractive. However, the fact that it is practical and can be achieved for those who are willing to commit, is even better. Unlike other businesses, a social entrepreneurship’s social or environmental purpose is central to its operations. Thus, social entrepreneurship is not only the latest trend, but very much the upcoming, prominent business platform for launching future innovations.
This article was contributed by Kelly Li