Folake is a talented, hardworking and enterprising young woman. The dream of one day owning a thriving fashion business had been a driving force behind her zeal for entrepreneurship, only second to her need to empower the disadvantaged young women in her locality. Many of them didn’t have the benefit of a proper education. When she eventually set up her small business, she set aside a few hours each week to teach young women how to make garments. Folake not only made profits from her craft, she ended up equipping many other young women with the skills needed to earn a living. By applying a practical, innovative and sustainable approach to benefit her society while earning a living for herself, Folake falls into the mold of what is called a social entrepreneur.
The idea that it is possible to do business on a human and compassionate lens is one that has been adopted by a significantly growing number of people. People like Folake have seen the possibility of making profits while giving back to the community. Social enterprises are springing up in so many places around the world. According to Wikipedia, "A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders." Social enterprises look to improve living conditions of their communities by focusing on areas such as providing subsidized healthcare, combating social inequalities, job creation and environmental protection. They use their businesses as enabling factors for the social changes they envision.
This is what C4C wants aspiring entrepreneurs to emulate as they work to make profits. But in addition, when we think of social entrepreneurship, it doesn't just end at using a part of profits for social good, it must include ensuring that your business provides the highest possible service to your clients - best quality in terms of products; best client experience. In other words producing quality goods and services and maintaining excellent client relationships are important aspects as well of being a social entrepreneur. In this way, young entrepreneurs will go a long way in creating viable solutions to the problems their societies face while making healthy profits.
That’s why we have embarked on an Entrepreneurship Fellowship Programme, a programme which we hope will turn into a movement that will produce well rounded entrepreneurs, who will not only want to earn a living, but would also create an enabling environment for others lead contented lives. As usual, we would be delighted to know what you think about the concept of social entrepreneurship. Don’t forget to leave a comment!