Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Creating a sustainable & equitable world for socio-preneurs

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Shikha Duggal

With startups rapidly becoming a huge part of hubs and their growth, social commerce has been a space where they can be used to make a huge difference on the entire customer lookout of a start-up. To help make social innovation a meaningful place to be, Schwab Foundation is making the youth conscious on how there is massive potential for them to contribute to this benefitting economy.

“Ever since our foundation was set up in 1998, million lives have been directly improved by the work of our community of social innovators. Together with my husband, Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, I decided to create a separate foundation in 1998. For decades, the World Economic Forum had engaged the leaders of civil society organizations at the annual meeting in Davos and in all activities throughout the year. However, we observed the emergence of a new model for social change: a model that combines compassion to serve the most vulnerable populations of society with business principles and the best techniques from the private sector. That is social entrepreneurship,” says Hilde Schwab, the co-founder.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Sehgal, a CEO explains to us the importance of this social entrepreneurship, and says, “I remember during my recent visit to the south, I heard about a local NGO that was running a drive to collect rice. The NGO sheltered around 20 to 25 blind children. Their idea was to reach out to the gated communities asking each house to contribute a bowl of rice. By the end of two days, the NGO was able to collect enough rice that could feed the children for more than a year.

However, no matter how successful the drive was, it failed to create momentum! Therefore, the question that begs to be asked is how we can make sure that these drives create momentum that not only can sustain and help people but also generate profit and create opportunities to invite stakeholders’ trust. That’s only if we give our focus to social entrepreneurship.”

Businesses, including some of the world’s most famous unicorns have grasped this opportunity with both hands and are reaping the benefit of platforms that facilitate the connection between buyer and seller, customer and service provider, content creator and audience. The big shift of social entrepreneurship can be seen as focusing on improving the means of connection rather than investing in the means of production!

The co-founder of the NGO continues, “We saw the urgent need to include social entrepreneurs in the meetings and research projects of the World Economic Forum. In addition, we wanted to develop a community of interaction and experience exchange and provide social entrepreneurship with higher visibility on the global scene.” She’s right because our country’s gig economy is scaling newer heights and thanks to the surge of innovative start-ups and young entrepreneurs who are changing the rules of how businesses functioned. These young achievers do not only dream to achieve big in life, but they also nurture their passion to resolve the social inequities gripping our country!

She also mentioned, “I have always maintained that social innovators are my role models. They work in a challenging, and adverse environment.They  persist, despite setbacks and frustrations. And collectively they have transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world, providing education, opportunity, livelihoods, and dignity. It is one of the greatest joys of my life to accelerate and amplify the work of social innovators.”

True that, being an entrepreneur in itself is challenging! As social entrepreneur, you are on a mission to generate business for a social cause.Their work is to implement a low-cost business solution for socio-causes while dealing with the shortage of funds, manpower, resources, and many more.The hurdles in the way are endless but foundations like these are transforming their lives too.

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