- Sevalanka Foundation
“Social entrepreneurship is the creation of viable socio economic structures, relations, institutions, organizations and practices that yield and sustain social benefits.” (Flower, 2000)
In general, social entrepreneurs are the people who address the unfulfilled social needs in the society which governments fail to address e.g.: poverty, sanitary facilities, women’s and children’s rights, environmental pollution, health issues etc. with or without a business model. They are the people who try to focus on generating total wealth (combination of economic and social wealth)
It says that governments or the regulatory bodies cannot address all the social needs in the world such as female harassment, poverty, environmental pollution, lack of sanitary facilities, health issues etc. Society itself has a responsibility to take necessary steps to overcome them. Doing something as a business and earning back as a profit is more satisfying. It takes great courage to reinvest the profit back to the society with the expectation of nothing in return but great satisfaction.
Social entrepreneurship is a hot topic in entrepreneurship of this century, though it has been there since 19th and 20th century. Back in those times, most of the organizations worked for children rights, women empowering, save environment, etc. Vinoba Bhave, the founder of Indian’s land gift movement, Robert Owen, the founder of cooperative movement, Florence Nightingale, the founder of first nursing school and the developer of modern nursing practices are considered as the pioneers in social work .They had established these type of enterprises in 19th century before identifying the concept “Social Entrepreneurship”.
Leadbeater, (1997) says in his article that social entrepreneurs are most usually found in what is so call voluntary sector. But he also said that description about social entrepreneurship is misleading. Certainly they run not-for-profit organization, which rely on a great deal of voluntary help and effort. But in today’s world, lots of organizations are involved in social entrepreneurship. World famous entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey are also involved in social entrepreneurship.
Types of Social Entrepreneurship
- The Leveraged Non-Profit: This business model leverages resources in order to respond the social needs. Leveraged non-profits make innovative use of available funds, in order to impact a need. These leveraged non-profits are more traditional in ways of dealing issues, though they are distinguished by their innovative approaches.
- The Hybrid Non-Profit: This organizational structure can take on a variety of forms, but is distinctive because the hybrid non-profit is willing to use profit to sustain its operations. Hybrid non-profits are often created to deal with government or market failures, as they generate revenue to sustain the operation outside of loans, grants and other forms of traditional funding.
- The Social Business Ventures: These models are set up as businesses designed to create change through social means. Social business ventures evolved through a lack of funding-social entrepreneurs. In this situation they were forced to become for-profit ventures.
Furthermore you can find three types of social entrepreneurs namely Social Bricoleurs, Social Constructionists and Social Engineers.
Social Bricoleurs are the entrepreneurs who act on locally discovered opportunities with locally available resources e.g.: Oswaldo Tello, Paige Ellison Smith.
The Social Constructionists build, launch and operate ventures which tackle those social needs that are inadequately addressed by existing institutions, businesses, NGOs and government agencies. The scale is larger than social bricoleurs e.g.: Jacqueline Novogratz.
Social Engineers act as prime movers of innovation and change, engendering “gales of creative destruction” to destroy dated systems, structures and processes to be replaced by newer and more suitable ones.
Thousands of creative people are bringing in their expertise in business and entrepreneurship to address the problems of the world.
Vinoba Bhave (India) - founder and leader of the Bhoodan movement, David Brower (United States) -environmentalist and conservationist, Akhtar Hameed Khan (Pakistan) - founder of grassroots movement for rural communities Comilla Model are some of the notable historical social entrepreneurs in the world. Bill Drayton (Ashoka Foundation), Ibrahim Abouleish (Egypt), Poonam Ahluwalia (US), Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh), Willie Smits (Indonesia), Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan) are some of the modern social entrepreneurs across the world.
Dr.A.T.Ariyarathne is the founder of “Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement”. He was admired by Gandhi Peace Prize in 1996, the Niwano Peace Prize, the King Beaudoin Award and many other international honors for his work in peace making and village development.
Anoka Abeyrathne is an eco-social entrepreneur, environmentalist and youth activist on environmental, sustainable development and entrepreneurial issues in Sri Lanka and in the Asian region. From her very young age (13), she started her social work as environmentalist. She was the president of the United Nations Club, the Red Cross Society, secretary of the Environmental Society, Girl Guide and a gold medal receiving athlete, swimmer and pianist. She is an inspiration for us as youngsters. Spotlight is not for all, lot more others are there in Sri Lanka who is being involved in developing social life of the people.
News we hear today are all about female harassment, child abusing, environmental pollution, destroying the rain forests, destroying the water sources etc. This is not only in Sri Lanka, but also common in the world. When the government can’t control all of that, we need someone who is willing to take the challenge. As young blood of the country, also as students who studies entrepreneurship, we should motivate ourselves to become responsible citizens. Social entrepreneurs are needed to our country today more than any other time. It’s now or never. Think social and change the world to a better place.