Social Entrepreneurship – Now is the Time

Social entrepreneurship is a major area of interest in many civic and social associations and has a significant effect on many areas of society. During recent years economic resources are becoming more challenging to acquire and society has continued to demonstrate economic and cultural decline. Concurrently, communities are in need of initiatives that will boost their financial viability and programs that will boost the overall viability of the populace.

Social entrepreneurship initiatives are partnerships that can serve as a way of increasing the societal value of a community, organisation or cause while improving the financial viability of a non-profit organisation. With this being said, social entrepreneurship has been defined in different ways by many different theorists. Gary McPherson, Executive Administrator of the Canada Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, states that social entrepreneurship involves various individuals working toward meeting social and economic targets simultaneously; while Bill Drayton, CEO of Ashoka, defines social entrepreneurship as a term coined to describe “individuals who combine the pragmatic and results in-oriented approaches of a business entrepreneur with the aims of social reform. “

A more fundamental definition of social entrepreneurship states that it is “the practice of using entrepreneurial and business skills to produce innovative approaches to societal issues. ” Therefore, it’s a methodology that’s currently being used to resolve community and societal concerns globally. Social entrepreneurship as an area of specialised entrepreneurship isn’t defined by the same titling in each civilisation. For example, in Latin America countries social entrepreneurship initiatives are known as “Micro Enterprise”.

In India, the same program could be identified as a “Social Mission. ” Though predicted differently in various areas, social entrepreneurship initiatives have been implemented to address specific societal and community concerns by focusing on the demands and resource availability within particular geographic regions.

Social Entrepreneurship in Education During the USA, many top tertiary level academic institutions are improving their business programs by adding a curriculum that caters to the study of entrepreneurship. In 2003, the Center for Responsible Business was launched on the University of California Berkley Campus. This subsidiary of the Haas School of Business was executed with the intent of training students to become more principled and socially responsible members of society through attending “the preeminent educational establishment in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility”.

Stanford University also has established a Center for Social Innovation as a part of its graduate school of business. This centre was founded with the mission to “build and strengthen the capacity of individuals and organisations to develop innovative solutions to societal issues for a more just, sustainable and healthy world. “

In 1993, Harvard Business School started its social business program with its assignment of “generating and sharing information to assist individuals and organizations to create social value in the non-profit, personal and public sectors,” along with the University of Miami has refocused its business school curriculum to include coursework in the subjects of ethical-decision making, social entrepreneurship and community involvement with the primary focus is to expose students to various areas of civic participation while concurrently teaching them leadership and team building skills.

Tertiary level institutions, such as Duke, that has established a Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship within its Fuqua School of Business, and Columbia University where the research initiative on social entrepreneurship is embedded in its faculty of business, also have made strides to improve the research and instruction of those attempting to venture into areas of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise execution. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International (AACSB – International) has identified over twenty-four tertiary level institutions which have included social entrepreneurship as a part of their organisation faculty and or business curriculums.

With social entrepreneurship being perceived by many as a new method of sparking social change, Idee Winfield thinks that the execution of community-focused service learning projects is your first step in exposing youth to the various attributes associated with social entrepreneurship. Through community involvement, youth will begin to visualise and experience the various social issues within their community and envision ways to solve these issues.

Winfield states that social entrepreneurship should be encouraged in secondary and primary schooling, and coursework should be adjusted to permit students to “see how subjective socially concentrated concepts can have real-world applicability. ” Jeffrey Soderborg, a part of the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Clearinghouse on Entrepreneurship Education, is also an enthusiastic proponent of social enterprise schooling who thinks that social entrepreneurship could be more easily accepted if youth were exposed to advice expounding the laurels of these initiatives throughout their primary and secondary academic years.