In the previous article, Social Enterprises and Entrepreneurs were introduced and given the simplest definition. It was explained there how the business works and what impact it does to the community. It was also emphasized that a social enterprise is not like a usual businesses we all know of – focused on earnings and profits. Now, it’s time to introduce the people behind it. What does it take to be called a Social Entrepreneur?
Basically, it all starts with a desire to help others by uplifting their standard of living. In a developing country, it is a common scenario to see jobless people, beggars at the streets, under employed workers and poor people who agree to be exploited due to lack of other options. Despite those unpleasant conditions, social entrepreneurs try to address some, if not all of the social problems a country is facing. Through the use of a market-driven approach, they are able help these poor people to have decent lives in exchange of their services.
For one to be a real social entrepreneur, here are some qualities that should be possessed:
1. Big heart for the poor. It is a vital for a person to have this trait because this is where everything starts. With the desire to help the needy, a business man starts thinking of his social responsibilities. Once this is triggered, that’s when a social enterprise is born.
2. Cutting-edge ideas – Social enterprises must offer unique business ideas and services to the people. It is for this reason that they strive to be different as compared to the common ideas in the market today. This is very important in order to have an edge over the others and be known in their chosen industry. Most social entrepreneurs focus on using local ingredients and materials and turn them into amazing products. This indeed is one way of addressing a social problem – poverty.
3. Prioritizes the marginalized – If you noticed, social enterprises highlight local products and make use of ingredients and materials found within the area or other parts of the country. This is so far the best way to help the poor who normally belongs to the agricultural sector. By patronizing their produce, entrepreneurs are able to uplift their standard of living with the fair trade that they do. Some of the common produce of a country includes crops such as sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, peanuts, wheat, herbs, various fruits, fabric and many more. These are then made into unique and in-demand products for the community to patronize.
Do you have what it takes to be a social entrepreneur?