Social Entrepreneurship

Social, Communal, Soluble

Social Entrepreneurship

Imagine people working for a benefit that impacts the planet! Sounds primitive? Then social entrepreneurship has caught our eyes a lot recently on our feeds, media and even when we chat with our friends. What is so appealing about it? Why people are busy with it? What’s in there for us?

According to Investopedia “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.”

A social entrepreneur is a businessman who cares for making an impact on his/her community through offering some solutions for larger communities. In “The Wealth of Nations” Adam Smith makes a clear argument that “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.” This implies that our businesses, and people succeed at what they are good at i.e when the baker bakes the miracle we call lavash for example.

Lluis Pareras in his Ted talk speaks about the 5 keys to become a successful social entrepreneur. One of the eye-catching characteristics he presents social entrepreneur as one who “shouts their existence to the world.” In business ideas, of course, are everything, but Pareras signifies the execution of idea more than the idea itself obviously, because the profit will come if and only if one got the right people in his back to make things happen.

In Armenia social entrepreneurship is quite a growing trend. In 2016 five co-founders established Impact Hub Yerevan with the idea to spread positive impact on Armenia through connecting like-minded people under the same roof.  Impact Hub is a network of changemakers which as a community center, business incubator offers a wide range of opportunities space, people, fellowships etc for innovative thinkers who offer creative and important solutions to community problems. This growing trend of being a new kind of business leader is beneficial in the long run, because it directly affects how people think about businesses and thus themselves. Anybody can become a successful entrepreneur if the person can come up with a progressive solution to current challenges that communities face.

CSR, and Philanthropy

It is important to differentiate terminologies and what they stand for. Sometimes there tends to be a misunderstanding between terms like SE and CSR and philanthropy.

According to corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate conscience, corporate citizenship or responsible business) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a self-regulatory mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards and national or international norms. Walmart the world’s largest retailer can be an example of CSR. Meanwhile, philanthropy is when an individual decides to bring a social change through investing in a sector in which he/she believes in. It can be like a venture capitalist who does not care for profit, but definitely for earning a good reputation among people.

The difference between these two is that CSR is based on a shared experience, it engages people and can benefit from staff retention, new business opportunities etc. Whereas it would be hard to achieve this only through the donation of money.

If you are a loyal friend of DNA, then you know who we are, what we do and why. Social entrepreneurship is one of the five main fields where we want the change within. For us, the latter is very important because of our belief that many communal problems can be solved through business projects. In the scope of its activities DNA promotes the awareness of this growing trend through local and foreign youth exchanges, trainings etc.

To learn more about how you can unlock the savvy impacter inside please look at our website for more!

Credits to the lovely artist Mary