What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Imagine a business that is not solely driven by the pursuit of wealth but by a commitment to making a difference in the lives of individuals and the well-being of our planet.
Either as a purely social enterprise or as a part of a social sustainability strategy, entrepreneurs can start making a positive impact by using their business skills and acumen to implement innovative solutions to social problems.
The term social entrepreneurship blends two powerful forces: entrepreneurship and social impact. Social entrepreneurs are individuals, groups, or start-up companies, who develop, fund, and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues impacting our society.
Why does social entrepreneurship matter?
- To address Unmet Needs: Social entrepreneurs strive to find gaps in the system, highlight overlooked issues, and aid marginalized communities.
- To promote Economic Development: Social enterprises can create jobs, generate income, and give opportunities to underserved and marginalized communities as well as the local community as a whole which can help boost local economies.
- To inspire and foster Innovation: Social entrepreneurs often work in areas that are underserved by traditional businesses or governments, this gives them room to innovate and bring fresh ideas to the table.
Inspiring Examples of Social Entrepreneurship
Foreword Coffee in Singapore, Sunyi Coffee in Indonesia, and even Starbucks with their Signing stores have begun to implement social entrepreneurship considerations in their day-to-day business. They especially focus on the topic of diversity and inclusion specifically for individuals with disabilities.
By hiring and training them, these companies are not only recognising their unique talents and capabilities but they are also working towards promoting inclusion and making a difference in the community.
How can I Integrate the spirit of social entrepreneurship in my business?
- Define a clear social mission – Identify an area that aligns with your business values and interests. For example, you can use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a framework to guide you. Choose one or more SDGs that are suitable for your business model and resonate with your core values.
- Integrate social values into your business model – Incorporate social impact considerations directly into your core business operations. For example, develop training or hiring programs that can create opportunities and skills for under-represented populations in your local community.
- Engage employees and local communities – Encourage employee involvement in social impact initiatives. Create opportunities for volunteering, fundraising, or participation in local community projects.
- Get access to funding – Access to funding is critical in helping businesses achieve their dual goals of financial sustainability and social impact. Adequate funding enables businesses to not only survive but also thrive, ultimately making a more significant and lasting contribution to addressing pressing global challenges.
Looking for funding to help advance the activities of your social enterprise? Explore our website for business financing options that suit your business needs.