Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Social Entrepreneurship; A new perspective for country’s development?

                                                                             By Adrian Nzamba

Discovering social entrepreneurs!


For as long as there has been poverty and inequality in the World, so as there has been a presence of people in groups or just as individuals who have always been there with establishment and initiatives that played a fundamental key role in supporting other who were in deep struggles of poverty and inequality. And because of their prestigious personalities they were given names such as visionaries, humanitarians, philanthropists, reformers, saints, or simply great leaders. Attention was paid to their courage, compassion, and vision but rarely to the practical aspects of their accomplishments. For example, we might have learnt about Florence Nightingale on how she ministered the wounded soldiers but not that she built the first professional school for nurses and revolutionized hospital construction.

These people of such caliber are regarded today as Social Entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship has been defined by many scholars throughout the years but till to date there is no universal recognized definition but the most widely cited definition was of offered by Greg Dees who draws on the thinking of the economists Jean-Baptiste Say and Joseph A. Schumpeter, who argued that “entrepreneurs improve the productive capacity of society and provide the ‘creative destruction’ that propels economic change.” Dees holds that social entrepreneurs do the same for social change, creating new combinations of people and resources that significantly improve society’s capacity to address problems.

Is Social Entrepreneurship the best solution to our Social problems?


Social entrepreneurs are and have always been developing innovative business models that blend traditional capitalism with solutions that address the long-term needs of our planet. They are tackling chronic social problems, ranging from healthcare delivery in sub-Saharan Africa to agricultural transformation in East Asia and public-school funding in the United States. Social entrepreneurs are working in close collaboration with local communities, incubating groundbreaking-and often lifesaving-innovations; modeling synergistic partnerships with governments, companies, and traditional charities; and building business models that deploy technology and enable networking to create wins for investors and clients alike.

New challenges, new solutions!


According to World Economic Forum Global Agenda of 2015, it listed deepening income inequality and persistent jobless growth as the major challenges faced by the World to date. Where we have the rich continue to accumulate wealth at record breaking rates while the middle class is still struggling. And at the same time if we look back at UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon statement during the 54th session of the commission for Social development he said that “2016 must be a year of “global traction” to ensure 3.1 billion people worldwide are not left behind in the race to end poverty”. These two statements clearly shows that the continuous growth of our global challenges is overwhelming and there is a need for a global intervention. Meaning it’s high time to start talking about social entrepreneurship and making the environment feasible for social entrepreneurs to intervene and create solutions to our pressing challenges.

Opportunities for the Social Entrepreneurs!


One of the biggest opportunity social entrepreneurship has is the nature of people we have in our today’s World and Soushiant Zanganehpour[1] puts it best by stating that “There are many factors contributing to this including the rise of Generation Y (millennials)[2]. This generation is a new, connected, socially-conscious, energized global cohort who finds this concept very appealing. This is demonstrated by the products they buy, and by the companies they seek to work for”. This means that this generation is positive and willing to support social enterprises due to the current state of problems of which are most felt by the same generation.

Access to fund has always been one of biggest challenges for both startup and scaling up social enterprise, but according to Harvard business review of January-February 2012 titled “A new approach to funding Social Enterprise” showed that an increasing number of social entrepreneurs and investors are coming to realize that social enterprises of all sorts can also generate financial returns that will make them attractive to the right investors. This realization will dramatically increase the amount of capital available to these organizations.

References:


  1. David Bornstein and Susan Davis (2010) Social Entrepreneurship What everyone needs to know, Oxford University Press.
  2. Antony Bugg-Levine, Bruce Kogut and Nalin Kulatilaka (2012) A new approach to funding social approach, Harvard Business Review
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/skollworldforum/2013/05/02/the-rise-of-social-entrepreneurship-suggests-a-possible-future-for-global-capitalism/#21880645e13b
  4. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251981
  5. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2016/02/ban-2016-must-be-year-of-traction-to-propel-2030-agenda/
  6. http://reports.weforum.org/outlook-global-agenda-2015/




Saturday, November 7, 2015

WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR

"Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunities beyond controlled resources"

As a young entrepreneur this definition of entrepreneurship by Professor Howard Stevenson from the Harvard Business School has manifested what exactly happen in my start-up business development. I am sure it is going to inspire you too especially if you want to start and become an entrepreneur. Let me explain its parts in detail:


Pursuit,

Implies a singular relentless focus, this is true, as an entrepreneur you will always need to activate your idea in reality as you get it. You will have to do something with whatever you have without waiting; you will have that urge to show tangible progress to attract resources. In a simple language an entrepreneur believe in acting upon ideas to materialize them so they can attract its progress to meet their vision.

Opportunities,

This implies to an offering that is novel in one or four of the following ways:
  •  Pioneering a truly innovative product
  •  Devising a new business model
  •  Creating a better or cheaper version of an existing product
  •  Targeting an existing product to new sets of customers   

Above is what an opportunity entails, this is due to the fact that, everything is actually existing in terms of resources and functions so as an entrepreneur you will recognize an opportunity which will mean improving what is available.

Beyond resource controlled, 

This implies resource constraints, as an entrepreneur you will always have less resources at the beginning so you will have to minimize cost and leverage your time by mobilizing your own funds to impinge in your initiative. You will do this to develop your business cash flow so it sustains itself in future and of course attract more funds from external investors. An entrepreneur will make sure the business stands out for other investors to join the force.

What are the risks entrepreneurs face at the beginning?

Entrepreneurs face risks because they always pursue novel opportunities while lacking enough resources to venture into their start-up businesses. Such risks come in four main types:

  1. Demand risk, this relates to customers willingness to adopt the solution envisioned by you as an entrepreneur. You will always be uncertain on this.
  2. Technology risk, this is very high when engineering or scientific breakthrough is required to bring a solution to fruition, you will also be uncertain
  3.  Execution risk, this one relates to entrepreneurs ability to attract employees and partners who can implement the venture’s plan.  
  4. Financing risk, this one relates to whether external capital will be available on the reasonable terms.

Let me tell you, above risks are what makes people become entrepreneurs, everything above is uncertain it needs your readiness to take such risk and start, not everyone can do this only entrepreneurs.

To minimize these risks, entrepreneurs are always following these steps in their establishment.
  •  Lean experiment: at this level you will have to test your minimal product to know whether customers need it and they are ready to buy, this product will also work as your learning process to validate it before producing more.
  •  Staged investing, this is when an entrepreneur utilize his/her resources according to the level of investment  milestone, here as an entrepreneur you should not expend resourced needed for the next investment before realizing the success of the recent milestones.
  • Partnering, this allows an entrepreneur to reduce risk by expending other people’s resources and sometimes rely on the risk taken on their side. On return the entrepreneur’s initiative grows.
  •  Storytelling, this is when an entrepreneur tells his story to other people so they get inspired and choose to impinge their resources in his/her venture. So as an entrepreneur you will need to be an inspirational leader of your initiative, you will need to be able to inspire others to choose collaborating with you and investing in your initiative.

Now try to think deeper on this definition of entrepreneurship above, doesn't it make you inspired to become an entrepreneur the way it did to me? You just need to do what some of the above to become one of them.


I wish you the best

By: Erick Chrispin.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

THE INVISIBLE POWER WITHIN YOU


Have you ever thought of why sometimes your plans in life yield unexpected results? Probably you had been like me who after seeing such a situation most of time I decided to believe that I will always never get what I expect and I must be ready for that. However this philosophy of mine had been contradicting me for I then started arguing within myself as for what purpose should I continue planning if I am sure I am not going to get what I expected?

Today I found another discovery that…


However life is how we make it, which means it depends on the choices we make and behaviors we practice every moment in life but behind those choices there are powerful processes which goes on invisibly that are critical, automated and natural factors of life which corresponds to our choices and plans in the realistic point of view. They are there to make sure all our plans are realistic beyond our plans and perception and these powerful processes are what will bring the true result of our plans and choices of life which most of the time goes opposite to our projected results since ours are not realistic.

Your invisible powers and processes are TRUE and FARE


Since your invisible processes are always there to respond to your choices and trying to bring out the reality of your choice so they will always be TRUE and FARE to you. Remember your life plans and choices activate these powers to work within you, so if you have made unrealistic plans and choice they will work to realize them in their true color and you will be disappointed of the results of your plans to be quite different from what you expected.

This is to say that there is a possibility of us getting what we expected out of our plans only if we are true and realistic of what we plan or choose in life. And the only thing which will be true to you is the one which inspires you to do. Just to make it clear an inspiration is what corresponds to your inner calling. That is discovering your CALLING and responding to it by doing what it asks you to do. If your calling is to do business, teach, create something new then if you respond to it accordingly that is your inspiration since it comes from within you so it is easy for your doings to correspond to your invisible powerful processes and yield expected results and sometimes beyond expectation and not below.

Your take away for today


Whenever you see unexpected results out of your plans and choices in life, sit down and explore whether your choices are realistic and whether they are your inspiration. It is obvious that you will discover these two factors not to be true so make some contemplation to discover what could be the reality and if this also doesn't help, meditate to discover whether you are living your origin i.e. whether you are living your calling and GOD’S purpose of you being in the world. By doing so you will be shifting your belief from your EGO to who you were real made to be.

Thanks

Erick Chrispin