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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP.....BRINGING IN THE PARADIGM CHANGE

Posted on 24 June, 2015 at 6:20


India has been in a paradoxical state for a long time, with a few individuals accumulating wealth whereas a vast majority are struggling for livelihoods, are landless and are continuously being marginalised. From this, has arisen the need for entrepreneurial approaches towards social change. Many Indians have taken an initiative in this regard and are striving to bring in the much needed change. These efforts are known by the name ‘social entrepreneurship’ and these are the days social entrepreneurship is a much respected endeavour.

A social entrepreneur recognises a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organise, create, and manage a venture to forge social change. They call themselves social entrepreneurs, and their 'business' is to make the world a better place. Using various roles, these men and women are gaining praise for their innovativeness and commitment.

Unlike business entrepreneurs, they don't measure performance in profit and returns, but assess success by the impact they have on society and often work through non-profits and citizen groups. They have the ideas to help engineer the society for the better.The business utilises native creativity and localised innovation to bring social, financial, service, educational or other community benefits.

Many of the social entrepreneurs have attempted a deconstruction of the concept of entrepreneurship from the perspective of people who struggle to live every day. For example, there are social entrepreneurs who have been working with the adivasis (tribals) of the Niligiris (a Hill Range in South India). They have worked along with the adivasis for their social, political and land rights. They began with helping the adivasis to regain the land that had been usurped by the non-tribals. Soon they had to begin working on issues of health, education, livelihoods -- issues that were critical to the overall growth of the community.

However, some feel though that social entrepreneurship is a western concept, a concept that is market-friendly and places too much spotlight on the social entrepreneurs.

Besides the 'natural capital' of natural resources, what is also important is social capital, intellectual capital, and ethical capital or "the guiding forces from within us" to build a successful social entrepreneurship effort.

Social enterprises are not charities or welfare agencies. They are private businesses established by entrepreneurs with an emphasis on human values rather than just profit. These businesses focus on working with and enhancing the social capital within the community by encouraging participation, and inclusion of all stake holders.

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