Nowadays, we hear plenty advice about how to start our own businesses – what to do, what not to do, what skills to develop, how to find a good mentor etc. etc. What we don’t hear enough about is social entrepreneurship and how it works as a catalyst for inciting change for the better within our universities and within our communities as a whole. So, let’s take a moment to shed some light on that burning question: what is social entrepreneurship? And how does it affect me?
The Essence of Social Entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurship refers to a person’s ability not only to recognise a pressing social problem, but also to take action, using entrepreneurial skills and approaches, to help rectify it and find a workable solution. The focus of social entrepreneurship is on ensuring growth and the creation of social capital – i.e. successfully achieving and maintaining social and environmental goals.
An Example of a Social Problem Facing the South African Youth
No matter where you go in the world, social problems within communities, big and small, will always be present. In South Africa, for example, one of our main social problems is that of unemployment, especially in terms of finding a good job after graduation. Despite having the right skills and qualifications under their belts, countless local graduates are finding themselves struggling with the job hunting process.
A great social entrepreneur would brainstorm ways in which to help make these job seekers not only feel more confident in their abilities, but also ensure that they are fully capable of using all of the tools at their disposal.
A social entrepreneur might take the initiative to organise a workshop in which the focus is on teaching students all about the benefits of LinkedIn when it comes to finding and building connections within a particular industry – as well as using the internet to find appropriate job opportunities and vacancies… and actually applying for them.
Are you keen on sparking change and helping South Africa to progress? Every small effort made counts! Stay tuned for more blogs about social entrepreneurship! Next month, we take a look at some of our country’s most inspiring social entrepreneurs and what makes them so special…