SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: profit of compassion
- IWB Post
- April 24, 2014
We all know who entrepreneurs are. Social Entrepreneurs are those who bring a positive change in the society with their work. They tackle social issues by identifying a part of the society that need help and figure out how to fix it. They find what is not working and work on it with ethical strategies. These problems can be poverty, environment, disease, another global problem etc. These people, unlike entrepreneurs, don’t only focus on making money but how they can contribute to the society. Listed below are few notable examples of social entrepreneurs from India and, specifically from Jaipur as well. Have a look: Ela Bhatt, who in 1972 founded SEWA, the world’s first and largest trade union for undocumented women workers, as well as Women’s World Banking in 1979.
- Hina Shah, founder of The International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (ICECD)
- Aparajita Agrawal and Manju Reddy, cofounders of Intellecap
- Leila Janah, founder & CEO of Samasource
- Pooja Warier , Co-founder of UnLtd. India & Bombay Connect
- Ajaita Shah, founder & CEO of Frontier Markets
- Shital Shah, founder of Think Change India
- Priya Naik, founder of Samhita Social Ventures
- Saloni Malhotra, founder of DesiCrew
- Akanksha Hazari, founder of m.Paani
- Leela Bordia: Founder and owner of Blue Pottery, Jaipur
Have you ever considered being in their shoes? For sure it feels great when you make money and bringing smile on others’ faces at the same time. Check out the characteristics of a Social Entrepreneur: Mission driven: Generating social value —not wealth—is the central criterion of a successful social entrepreneur. While wealth creation may be part of the process, it is not an end in itself. Strategic: They see and act upon what others miss: opportunities to improve systems create solutions and invent new approaches that create social value. Resourceful: Because social entrepreneurs operate within a social context rather than the business world, they have limited access to capital and traditional market support systems. As a result, social entrepreneurs must be skilled at mobilizing human, financial and political resources. Result oriented: These results transform existing realities, open up new pathways for the marginalized and disadvantaged, and unlock society’s potential to effect social change. Passionate to serve society: What they do is not just about making money or even about empowering individuals at a personal level, but rather about restoring balance and flow to people and planet—socially, economically, emotionally, environmentally, etc. We met Mrs. Deepa Mathur, Chairperson of the NGO QUALIS – Quality of Life Improvement Society. This organization is functioning for promoting interests of the underprivileged/below poverty line section of the society. The NGO, also, takes keen interest in spreading the message of environment conservation. We asked her few questions that will help you understand social entrepreneurship more precisely.
Team JWB: They say social entrepreneurship is most suitable for women. Do you agree? Deepa Mathur: I believe social entrepreneurship is not just a profession but an art of reaching out to as many people and bringing about a significant change in their lives. Successful implementation of this requires one to have a variety of attributes such as awareness, motivation, dedication, and above all compassion. Women play a multitude of roles in the society (a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend) and have showcased all the above mentioned attributes and more. Playing several roles also brings about the quality of multi-tasking, which is an essential skill in today’s time. Moreover, women have the natural ability to display a wonderful confluence of skills and vision to do well in the area of social entrepreneurship. Team JWB: What suggestions or advice you have for women who have recently started as social entrepreneurs? Deepa Mathur: If to talk about young entrepreneurs, they are full of energy and vibrancy. They are born in the age of technology which brings about a unique way in the way they think. I believe they have all the tools to touch the lives of a large number of people. All that is required is channelizing the energy in the right direction. Otherwise also, I think women social entrepreneurs must develop a well founded foresight. Since social entrepreneurship is a process that can take long to mature, it is advisable to be patient and headstrong until the goal is achieved. Foresight would allow one to have clear understanding of what the ultimate destination and endeavor is. Team JWB: What are the ingredients to success in this profession? Deepa Mathur: Social entrepreneurship is an interesting platform. It requires skills of running a business and selflessly helping the society. This calls for a wide array of strengths such as motivation, dedication, good oral and presentation skills, ability to convince and influence, among others. I believe the one skill that requires highlight is that of compassion. Compassion allows one to understand the needs of others from a progressive perspective. It gives you the ability to step into others’ shoes and get a view of the situation. This has been summed up well in the words of Mahatma Gandhi who believed that all men have two hands, one to help themselves and the other to help others. Team JWB: What mistakes a social entrepreneur must avoid to do? Deepa Mathur: Social entrepreneurs must learn to not be lured by material gains. Any social activity undertaken with the intent of primarily benefiting the social entrepreneur is, in my eyes, an injustice to the fundamentals of social entrepreneurship. The life of a social entrepreneur is full of surprises and situations uncalled for. One must learn to stay calm in all situations and never take hasty decisions. Also, any social activity should be preceded by in-depth research. This will allow maximum understanding of the problem at hand, which would enhance the development of the best possible solution. Team JWB: Thank you so much Deepa for giving us this time. It is really enriching. Deepa Mathur: I will be glad if this helps any woman’s growth as a Social Entrepreneur.