Javeria Asad, Al-Khobar – Social Entrepreneurship philosophy is not newfangled and was tracked by many entrepreneurs with different models and configurations in past. It is a combination of commerce with Social and Community issues.
Usual entrepreneurs are those who come up with some smart business idea to start their setups and earn money. They make feasibility reports to find the investor or get loans from the bank and work tirelessly to scale their company and drive profits for themselves and their investors and stakeholders.
On the other hand, Social Entrepreneurs are not only concerned with profits. They measure their success on how their business improves the world. They work to bring Commercial, Economical, Educational and Cultural variations in their communities. People have different opinions about this. Some people think that it is based on to resolve social issues of the society with granted money by the government or through donations like NGOs used to do or through sponsorship.
But today I am talking about another model which is ‘Earn Income’ model. It defines that entrepreneurs earn money and make profits by selling their products or offering their services and expertise in a way that their buyers know that some part of their purchase amount will be utilized in support of any social cause.
There are many companies globally following this model such as ‘Ben & Jerry’, they kept their manufacturing footprints smaller and outsourced different departments like suppliers, farmers, franchisers, employees and customers so all these stake holders could enjoy prosperity and success of the company together.
Muhammad Yunus was the founder of Grameen Bank. This Bangladesh based institute provides small loans to those who are living under the poverty line. 95% of their borrowers are women and these women pay their loans back at a rate of 97%. The bank has managed a net income of $10 million, has 2568 branches and covers 93% of total villages in Bangladesh. His work has also earned himself a Nobel Peace Prize.
Now how to become a Social Entrepreneur?
To start with, you need to determine the gaps in existing products and services to make the strategies to seal these gaps. Then identify your strengths and skills to fill those gaps through your proficiencies which could be, as bakers, caterers, makeup artist, writer, painter, chef, salesperson, counsellor, etc. In the end, you need to select which social entrepreneurship model you are implementing as I have described above.
I followed this model when I moved to Saudi Arabia in 2006 and I observed during socialization that there were many endowed entrepreneurs who were working tirelessly but were not satisfied with their earnings and profits. So, I discussed this with some of like-minded women and decided to open our social and entrepreneurs club where we offered our services to guide them to the path where they need to have professional picture of business models to attain maximum customer reach by designing their logos, business cards and promotional materials.
We mentored them that they need to modernize themselves on global marketing strategies. The amount we took from them, we executed and conducted entrepreneurs’ workshops and symposiums, where we trained them on how to approach their customers through different marketing stratagems and effective use of social media. We invited many practiced and successful business owners from the community who pooled their journeys and experiences.
Commerce & Business
It was a commerce and business change what we brought in the community. Our workshops engrossed many housewives who got motivated through the environment we provided to start their setups by crafting their hobbies as businesses. Moreover, we found several ladies and kids who were fond of writing and painting. Looking at their interests, we came up with an idea to start one club magazine where all interested writers can pen down their thoughts and observations. It was an educational change we brought in the society as well.
In conclusion, if any person who is good in writing, crafting, marketing and mentorship etc can become a social entrepreneur and can serve the community by embracing any model. But you should have ability to think differently, must be creative and innovative. You should be confident in your decisions with ‘Never Give-up’ attitudes as I mentioned, profit margins are low therefore you need to be patient and more focused on the goals. You should have leadership qualities to convince and motivate others to make a good team. This pandemic situation has engulfed the community in terms of finical crisis so let us this opportunity to be a Social Entrepreneur, utilizing our expertise and experiences.
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