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The Time for Social Entrepreneurship Has Come

The Time for Social Entrepreneurship Has Come

UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus: GS-3- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

The Time for Social Entrepreneurship Has Come

Social Entrepreneur:

A social entrepreneur is a person who pursues novel applications that have the potential to solve community-based problems.

  • These individuals are willing to take on the risk and effort to create positive changes in society through their initiatives.
  • Widespread use of ethical practices such as impact investing, conscious consumerism, and corporate social responsibilityprograms facilitate the success of social entrepreneurs.

How it works:

  • While most entrepreneurs are motivated by the potential to earn a profit, the profit motivedoes not prevent the ordinary entrepreneur from having a positive impact on society.
  • As Adam Smithexplained in The Wealth of Nations (1776), “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.
  • Smith believed that when individuals pursued their own best interests, they would be guided toward decisions that benefited others.
  • The baker, for example, wants to earn a living to support his family.
  • To accomplish this, he produces a product, bread, which feeds and nourishes hundreds of people.
  • Examples of social entrepreneurship include microfinanceinstitutions, educational programs, providing banking services in underserved areas and helping children orphaned by epidemic disease.
  • Their efforts are connected to a notion of addressing unmet needs within communities that have been overlooked or not granted access to services, products, or base essentials available in more developed communities.
  • A social entrepreneur might also seek to address imbalances in such availability, the root causes behind such social problems, or social stigma associated with being a resident of such communities.
  • The main goal of a social entrepreneuris not to earn a profit, but rather to implement widespread improvements in society.
  • However, a social entrepreneur must still be financially savvy to succeed in his or her cause.

India & Social Entrepreneurship:

  • As a growing economy, India today needs many social entrepreneurs.
  • We need a revolution from people of different walks of life in creating and implementing effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to battle social and environmental challenges.
  • These solutions include services and products for profit or as non-profit initiatives.
  • India needs numerous social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to the society’s most pressing social problems in the areas of sanitation, education, water conservation, gender bias, primary health, female foeticide, carbon emissions and other environmental problems.
  • These problems are persistent in nature and need urgent resolutions.

Some issues they face:

  • In India, social entrepreneurs face some critical problems such as enterprises need a strong, grounded business plan to help achieve milestones.
  • The rigor of building and following a plan that is based on market realities and customer insight is critical, they need support of lawyers, chartered accountants, senior entrepreneurs to help them develop a good business plan.
  • We have all heard of a great social enterprise doing good work, but limited to specific geographies.
  • The primary reason they are not able to scale up is lack of funds or the founders’ limited bandwidth.

What is needed:

  • Government could provide support services to social entrepreneurs similar to the support provided to the startups.
  • The idea is still in a nascent stage. Awareness and promotion of the concept among the masses is needed.
  • Necessary relaxation of rules for an initial period would suffice.
  • It could also be brought under the Priority Sector Lending of the banks.

Source:”Financial Express”.


What do you know about Social Entrepreneurship? Do you think it’s time has come in India?