Using Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship is changing our society and the business world all at one time. This brand of entrepreneurship consists of using resources and education to further a mission for social change. Social Entrepreneurs have a vision to improve the world through people and ideas that once only encompassed the business world. They take a skill, like literacy or technological advancement and use it to help people around the world. Social entrepreneurs are not bound by issues of class, race, economic status, or country borders. Here are some examples of how social entrepreneurship leaders are changing the face of society.

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Tools to Flourish in Social Entrepreneurship

  • Changing the System. To be a leader in their changing world, one must learn to the system in order to change the system. Mahatma Gandhi said, “man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” We must reach into the minds of the youth in order to achieve a change in this world. Many social entrepreneurship initiatives understand this, and for this reason work with young people on a daily basis.
  • Using technology. Jim Fruchterman of Benetech has made modern technology work for humans in ways that people never thought possible. He developed OCR, optical character recognition, that is used in reading machines for the visually impaired. Later, he developed Martus, which is used by organizations around the world to report human rights abuses. The program allows users to record data from victims and witnesses while protecting their identities.

While basic needs like shelter and clean water will always be our first human concerns, social entrepreneurs like Jim Fruchterman recognize that using the most modern technology to promote things like literacy will further the cause of humanity.

  • Working together. The Skoll World Forum, assembled for the first time in 2004, brings together at Oxford the world's social entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to discuss how to further their initiatives. While the event is by invitation only, in the spirit of equality so boldly represented by the enterprises of the social entrepreneurs involved, anyone can participate via social media, videos, and the Skoll World Forum website.
  • Thinking small, and big. 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank shows how thinking small can pay off big. He is a banker and economist who developed microloans for less-affluent countries to develop economically.  He used his talents to stimulate social development in parts of the world that had been grossly overlooked.
  • Seeking advice. One of the most famous social entrepreneurs today is Virgin CEO Richard Branson. He believes in the pertinent point that even social entrepreneurs need mentors and support. Not all of these mentors have to come from the social entrepreneurship sector. They can be rocket scientists, writers, or anyone with a strong background which could be beneficial to society in one way or another. In these ever-changing times, these visionaries need to find the correct platforms for launching their ideas.
  • Combining Industries. Virgin CEO Richard Branson is a master example of how a social entrepreneur can achieve economic success as well, and leverage that success to greater the social good. Social entrepreneurs are resourceful people with more than one skill. They know how to bring out the best in others.
  • Looking forward. What does the future face of social entrepreneurship look like? You can likely see it in the visages of the millennials who truly believe that you can, as Gandhi said “be the change you wish to see in the world.” But this bright future is an uncertain one. As funding for social entrepreneurship increases as large companies such as Google get in on the initiatives, human rights violations continue to rise.

Social entrepreneurs leverage their private or public sector talents to enact social change. They may truly be considered leaders for their ability to create something new out of nothing at all. Their ability to blend harmoniously the ideas of the developed and developing world have earned them esteem and respect. The skills of social entrepreneurs can be adopted by leaders of any company or entity in order to strengthen their resolves and increase their resourcefulness. We can all learn how to be the change we want to see in our world.

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