So when we say weâ€™re Social Entrepreneurs…
June 2, 2011
…we mean weâ€™re in the business of making the world a better place. Social entrepreneurship is a fairly new course of action that combines two familiar concepts, entrepreneurial thinking and social change, to improve upon them both.
Entrepreneurs are known for their ability to be innovative and problem-solve in business situations. They are very much in tune to the business environment and can easily identify the aggravating factors in a situation, but more importantly they can see resources and create possibilities where others do not. With this insight, the difficulties certain to face a business professional in any venture are tackled and overcome by entrepreneurs. These out-of-the-box thinkers are also fearless â€˜do-ersâ€™, relentlessly moving forward, blazing trails and expanding the scope of their projects. And any economist will tell you that maximizing profit is what entrepreneurs want, and what they are good at.
A social entrepreneur possesses the same qualities: vision, drive, and skills to achieve their goals. The key difference is that a social entrepreneur is interested in maximizing their social profit rather than their monetary profit. For them, success is measured by the positive gains that they achieve for society.
Building Tomorrow is dedicated to achieving such positive social change in sub-Saharan Africa, where millions of potential students live in poverty, with no access to education. But this type of problem cannot be solved with monetary aid. Poverty occurs when people find themselves unable to meet basic human needs, and are therefore held back from realizing the full potential of their lives. Instead of treating the symptoms of poverty – hunger, disease, etc. (though providing immediate aid in many cases is important) – as entrepreneurial thinkers we at Building Tomorrow head straight to the true source of the problem. Our goal is to put a halt on the cycle of poverty altogether, by giving some of the most under-served communities access to a primary education. As just one example, research has found that a woman who receives a primary education is 3 times less likely to contract HIV/AIDS. This means that in a decade, over 7 million lives could be saved from this disease through simple access to education.
At Building Tomorrow we measure our successes by the scale of these kinds of tangible, social results. As a local leader and partner of the BT Academy in Sentigi, Mr. Kasibante said, â€œThe returns of our efforts will be reflected in the good education of our children through this school.”
For another look into Social Entrepreneurship, follow this link – http://www.pbs.org/opb/thenewheroes/whatis/
(written by: Estelle Rousseau, William & Mary)