Success with Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is the work of social entrepreneurs. A social entrepreneur recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to achieve social change (a social venture). The main aim of social entrepreneurship is to further social and environmental goals. However, whilst social entrepreneurs are most commonly associated with the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors, this need not necessarily be incompatible with making a profit. A social entrepreneur identifies practical solutions to social problems by combining innovation, resourcefulness and opportunity. Committed to producing social value, these entrepreneurs identify new processes, services and products, or unique ways of combining proven practice with innovation to address complex social problems. Whether the focus of their work is on enterprise development, health, education, environment, labour conditions or human rights, social entrepreneurs are people who seize on the problems created by change as opportunities to transform societies. Historical Examples of Leading Social Entrepreneurs:

Susan B. Anthony (U.S.): Fought for Women's Rights in the United States, including the right to control property and helped spearhead adoption of the 19th amendment.


Vinoba Bhave (India): Founder and leader of the Land Gift Movement, he caused the redistribution of more than 7,000,000 acres of land to aid India's untouchables and landless.


Dr. Maria Montessori (Italy): Developed the Montessori approach to early childhood education.


Florence Nightingale (U.K.): Founder of modern nursing, she established the first school for nurses and fought to improve hospital conditions.


Margaret Sanger (U.S.): Founder of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she led the movement for family planning efforts around the world.


John Muir (U.S.): Naturalist and conservationist, he established the National Park System and helped found The Sierra Club.

an effort to build sustainable communities in Kampot. Bill Gates recognized the future of the personal computer and wrote special software to make that future a reality. Social Entrepreneurs Tap Inspiration and Creativity in Outcasts and Misfits Business entrepreneurs seek out top talent from Ivy League schools who have proven track records in top management positions. The ECSC and the European Common Market were direct precursors of the European Union. People like Bernie Madoff and Donald Trump engage business opportunities to expand their own empires. Recently. but to add value to disadvantaged communities.y Jean Monnet (France): Responsible for the reconstruction of the French economy following World War II. Characteristics of social entrepreneurs Social Entrepreneurs Identify and Solve Problems on a Large Scale Business entrepreneurs identify opportunities and exploit them for financial gain. Similarly. Martin Luther King who led the American Civil Rights Movement and Gandhi who led his people to independence were examples of social entrepreneurs. Jean-Michel Tijerina took a trip to Cambodia with a friend. Cambodia through secondary education. social entrepreneurs identify opportunities to solve societal problems on a grand scale. In this way. Social Entrepreneurs Bring Value to Disadvantaged Communities A business entrepreneur¶s ultimate desire is to add value to their business enterprise and to increase their personal self-worth. In contrast. Social entrepreneurs do not exploit opportunities to bring value to their own bank accounts. including the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). social entrepreneurs are transformational leaders in that they inspire others to take up a vision that is beyond their previously displayed abilities. Each one inspired movements in their respective countries that led to major shifts in thinking patterns and improved society as a whole. His heart was touched by what he saw and he was moved to begin The Cambodia Project. social entrepreneurs see past raggedy clothes to draw out the creativity of the downtrodden. .

various options of funding exist for them but in long run they need to make money) So. NGOs are a part of social entrepreneurship but their motive is primarily different from that of a business. How does their business work? As the companies discovered ³the bottom of pyramid´ and changed their mindsets and strategies to tap this huge segment. business has to be self sustaining generate revenue stream to keep itself afloat (of course. While NGOs focus completely on addressing a social issue. Also. what are these businesses with a social twist? Traditionally businesses existed to make profits. Successful Social Entrepreneurs When one talks about social sector. the two differ on funding ± while NGOs mostly depend upon grants and donations.Social Entrepreneurs Seize Opportunities to Challenge and Change Inequitable Systems Furthermore. this is the principle on which social entrepreneurship works. Yes. rather. what if businesses existed for betterment of some segment of the society and in the process generate profits? Well. In the process they generated employment and also help the economy with some of the benefits accruing to the society at large. probably the first things we can think of are NGOs. simple changes. a social business at the end of the day is a business and has to make money. social entrepreneurs do not engage in small. Tweaking this paradigm. they seize on opportunities to challenge and change inequitable systems. social entrepreneurs involved them in at least one of the following ways ± . Social entrepreneurs exist to promote the best possible life for all. They stare down the status quo and work to change whole belief systems and mindsets.

In the process he made a successful business out of it. 2. the company has an amazing presence and is doing well in terms of financials! . So. Innovative schemes are being designed to tap this huge segment and make them avail benefit of the service offering. A few examples in the Indian context are  The various players in the microfinance industry (Fino. in education & healthcare) or be a key input for some economic activity and hence help in securing their livelihoods (e. Few who dared to dream were« Talking about social entrepreneurship. distribution etc). selling products/ services and generating profits.g. microfinance).g. apart from benefitting people. By being the end user of the product or service (without digging hole in their already near-empty pockets). it also gives them employment and consequently spending power which helps in keeping the local economy well oiled. processing. transformed the lives of many poor people and brought about a paradigm shift in the mindsets across the globe. he can be credited for making it popular and inspiring many people across the world to take the plunge. one is likely to conjure up an image of Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus of Grameen Bank fame lending money to the poor villagers in Bangladesh to start a business get out of the debt trap and become financially independent. Though not exactly a pioneer in social entrepreneurship. This service can provide a substantial benefit at a minimal cost (e. Apart from being a symbiotic relationship with the company. procurement. Utkarsh Microfinance etc.1. Being a stakeholder or a part of one of the different aspects of the value chain (egg.  One of the earliest and finest examples of social example in India has been the milk cooperative Amul.) which have tried to replicate Grameen Bank¶s model with varying degrees of success and have made a tangible difference to the lives of many people. It had a large community involvement and benefits reaching a large section of the community. social entrepreneurship makes a lot of economic sense as well. Also.

and y Reverse the age-old vicious circle of "low income. into virtuous circle of "low income. Head of the Rural Economics Program at the University of Chittagong. the company also shares its profits with them. more investment. Another example has been Dr. The Grameen Bank Project (Grameen means "rural" or "village" in Bangla language) came into operation with the following objectives: y y y Extend banking facilities to poor men and women. the more you can get. Conventional banking is based on the principle that the more you have. more income". if you have little or nothing. Eliminate the exploitation of the poor by money lenders. Grameen Bank methodology is almost the reverse of the conventional banking methodology. low saving & low investment". Apart from giving them a much better market exposure and a sustainable livelihood. mostly the women from the poorest households. more income. y Bring the disadvantaged.  Fabindia has few tens of thousands of weavers as shareholders. more savings. you get nothing. Devi Prasad Shetty of Narayana Hrudayala fame who is providing affordable healthcare to the masses and has an ambitious expansion plans as well. In other words. As a . Grameen Bank The origin of Grameen Bank can be traced back to 1976 when Professor Muhammad Yunus. launched an action research project to examine the possibility of designing a credit delivery system to provide banking services targeted at the rural poor. investment. Create opportunities for self-employment for the vast multitude of unemployed people in rural bangladesh. injection of credit. within the fold of an organizational format which they can understand and manage by themselves.

educational and health areas. the women. 97 per cent of Grameen Bank's borrowers are women.e. It makes sure that the ownership of the houses built with Grameen Bank loans remain with the borrowers. Grameen Bank starts with the belief that credit should be accepted as a human right. Grameen Bank branches are located in the rural areas.. Grameen methodology allows such borrowers to reschedule their loans without making them feel that they have done anything wrong (indeed. First principle of Grameen banking is that the clients should not go to the bank. Grameen gives high priority to women.) . Grameen Bank works to raise the status of poor women in their families by giving them ownership of assets. education for children. planting trees. Grameen system pays a lot of attention to monitoring the education of the children (Grameen Bank routinely gives them scholarships and student loans). more than half the population of the world is deprived of the financial services of the conventional banks. Grameen system encourages the borrowers to adopt some goals in social. etc. eating vegetables to combat night-blindness among children. access to clean drinking water. Grameen system helps the borrowers to build their own pension funds. and their coping capacity for meeting disasters and emergency situations. housing.result. and other types of savings. They call these borrowers "defaulters". i. it is the bank which should go to the people instead. sanitation. they have not done anything wrong. sanitary latrine. and builds a system where one who does not possess anything gets the highest priority in getting a loan.) Conventional banks go into 'punishment' mode when a borrower is taking more time in repaying the loan than it was agreed upon. These are known as "Sixteen Decisions" (no dowry. unlike the branches of conventional banks which try to locate themselves as close as possible to the business districts and urban centres. arranging clean drinking water.

benefits. ROPE manages the production process while ensuring quality products and timely delivery. To be commercially competitive and meet the challenges of working with small artisans in rural areas. ROPE currently produces in India and operates in the state of Tamil Nadu.As of December. . Madras through their Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI). ROPE was founded in January 2007 and incubated at Indian Institute of Technology. L-RAMP (the Lemelson Recognition and Mentoring Program) and National Research Development Corporation (NRDC). The following partners are integral to the success of ROPE: Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI).376 villages.34 million borrowers. leveraging rural skills and rural materials. timely delivery and high labour standards. employing full-time over 500 rural workers manufacturing more than one million handmade units per year. opportunities for skill enhancement.565 branches. ROPE is a socially responsible producer that strives to provide its artisans steady incomes. it has 8. With 2. 2010. ROPE is also a social enterprise. ROPE provides global customer¶s access to rural workers and artisans who manufacture handmade and hand-woven natural products. 97 percent of whom are women. ROPE's production centres manufacture items per customers' requirements while ROPE ensures product quality. GB provides services in 81. ROPE has developed technology to allow it to effectively and efficiently manage its supply chain. providing employment to rural artisans by linking them with global customers. Rural Opportunities Production Enterprise (ROPE) ROPE is a trusted manufacturer and supplier for large-scale rural production. and improved working environments. ROPE plans to expand to other parts of India and to other countries to offer customers additional unique rural skills and materials. covering more than 97 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh. ROPE currently employs over 500 rural workers (full-time) manufacturing more than one million handmade units per years.

there lacks credible institutions to engage rural producers and aggregate their output for buyers while ensuring quality. The vision was big. ROPE uses best management practices and innovative technology. Furthermore. and aggregates the output and delivery to global buyers. there was capital (direct and indirect). creates systems for production management. Second. ROPE organizes rural producers into local production centres. ROPE offers a very powerful product to its customers: customers can purchase cost competitive items that meet quality standards while making a social impact that their customer¶s value. Rural workers bring their global customers unique skills and materials while being very cost competitive. and . As a one stop supplier for rural production. It wanted to bring out change in the way milk was produced and distributed on a massive scale. ensures product quality and delivery. ROPE coordinates the work and production of rural workers while having access to and credibility with global buyers. quantity and delivery. AMUL Amul was created by government initiative and by the passion of people like Dr Kurien. With our success. in turn. quantity and delivery guarantees expected by global customers also ensuring meeting compliance standards for production processes. there was passion. There are two main reasons why rural workers do not connect with global customers: First. This enables ROPE to provide quality. global customers and. their customers can take pride in the social impact they are making in the rural economy. ROPE addresses these challenges. To make the ROPE model possible. ROPE understands market and customer needs and meets these demands. there is insufficient organization among rural workers to cater to market needs.ROPE Model ROPE has a model which leverages the strengths of the rural unorganized sector to the benefit of global customers and also the rural workers. adequately market their unique skills and materials. ROPE connects global customers to rural workers allowing these customers the benefits of a rural workforce. and create the scale necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

The organization also provides skills training. Jaipur and seven blocks of southern Rajasthan. and the formation of partnerships to create the impact via the business. Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Aajeevika Bureau offers rural seasonal migrants photo identity and financial services. mobile telephone. Aajeevika Bureau is headquartered in Udaipur. job placement. with offices in Ahmedabad. a company that provides unique photo IDs to inter-state migrants to provide access to banking. Aajeevika¶s model has been replicated by more than 30 civil society organizations in Bihar. Aajeevika Bureau. government services and more. If we are to get out of depending on the government for everything we have to think entrepreneurial. The Schwab Foundation. Winner Profile: Rajiv Khandelwal and Krishnavtar Sharma. Orissa. Udaipur Co-founded by Rajiv Khandelwal and Krishnavtar Sharma in 2004. Additionally. more than 50. They are typically unviable for self-help group or microfinance loans due to their migratory status and lack of assets. and legal aid and counselling to its members. partnering with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation. . where. and partnerships with local governments and businesses. Rajiv Khandewal and Krishnavtar Sharma founded Aajeevika Bureau.000 rural workers migrate seasonally to Gujarat and Karnataka. every year.there was terrific leadership. All of Aajeevika Bureau¶s clients are unskilled and semi-skilled men and women with annual family incomes of less than INR 36. Over five years. an estimated 800. have named this year¶s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year (Go here to read about the finalists). skills training. registering 50-80% growth in their incomes as well as increased citizenship entitlements. Maharashtra.000.000 ultra-poor seasonal migrants have directly accessed the Bureau¶s services. mostly at their destination points in urban markets. sustained and involved engagement with the grass-roots.

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