Many of us entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs have frequently thought about how we can make a difference to the society we live in while at the same time improving our lifestyle through a profitable business. While admittedly all businesses are social in the sense that they create opportunities for employment, improves stakeholder livelihoods, and engages with the community, Social Entrepreneurs are different because their primary motive is social change coupled with income generation. But is that possible? Can we create a positive social impact and drive change while still pursuing the entrepreneurial dream? But how?
To answer these questions and more, and to move us all one step closer to our socio-entrepreneurial dreams, we had based this month’s Startup Saturday in Bangalore on the theme “Social Entrepreneurship”. The session started with our first speaker of the day, Mr. Vikram Rai, Co-Founder & CEO of Sattva Media and Consulting (http://www.sattva.co.in) elaborating on the What, Why and How of Social Entrepreneurship.
Till a few years back, social development was predominantly perceived as the focus area of the Government, Civil Society Organizations and NGOs. Today it is no more so. Everyone can contribute to the community’s development may it be individuals, associations, companies, non-profits, NGOs or the Government. This has created an enormous amount of interest and a new breed of entrepreneurs has evolved who are keenly interested in creating a social impact.
While both entrepreneurs and Social entrepreneurs are primarily bothered with solving problems to generate the company’s revenue, the latter’s problems are larger and his/her solutions to them are more benefiting the society. They are as equally worried about revenue channels as they are about measuring social impact. They use new ways and models to solve social problems, or new ways and models to do business which also has significant social impact.