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.


  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/