The opinions of the article do not necessarily reflect the position of Trajectorya. This post is the result of a co-operative learning exercise developed by participants of the Training Course Key Rights Human Competences (Catalonia, October 2011).
Social Entrepreneurship, What is it?
After a long period of searching, deliberating and discussing we (Kai, Ema and Marcin) came to the conclusion, that the main idea of social entrepreneurship is to improve social, environmental, educational and economical conditions in the society. But still the concept of SOCIAL ENTERPRENEURSHIP is quite mysterious so we found some certain characteristics, which we are going to introduce.
The main approach of these kinds of entrepreneurships is to indicate and try to solve social problems in the community by using creative and innovative ideas. One of the characteristics is to increase social responsibility. It means to create better conditions not only for you, but for the others as well. A good example would be a non-governmental organisation called Kitas Variantas in Lithuania, which makes initiatives in order to increase the consciousness of school children. The voluntaries are giving lessons about motivation, self-fulfilment, ways to achieve your goals, positive attitudes and etc.
Second feature is to create social capital. It refers to the institutions, relationships and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society’s social interactions. A good example for a voluntary initiative is a program Lets Do it! Clean the world 2012. The program started with only 5 people deciding they want to live in a cleaner and a better environment. They created a network of people who marked places where garbage had been dumped and during one day about 50 000 volunteers cleaned the entire country. At the moment the movement has spread outside Europe to countries as Brazil, India and etc. This is also a good example to the third feature of social entrepreneurship, which involves voluntary and non profit initiatives. Even though social entrepreneurship can be for profit as well, in those cases the money goes back to the society. In the case of “Lets do it!” as we mentioned earlier the initiative started from only few people in Estonia, at the moment the movement has spread to more than 80 countries and includes thousands of volunteers investing their free time and energy to this project, without getting paid for it.
This all explains how we see social entrepreneurship and the different ways we have for creating a better world for ourselves 🙂