Now-a-days, we often hear about Entrepreneurs – one who take ownership to launch a new venture, enterprise or initiative taking challenges and risks, and undertaking the understanding and the sole responsibility of the outcomes. Social entrepreneurs, similarly, are the change agents of a society with visionary, ambitious and persistence personalities who inject innovative solutions to address social problems.
Entrepreneurship has gained world-wide attention and is a major topic of discussion these days. Either in business sector or social sector, the contributions that the entrepreneurs have made and their impacts are highly appreciative and worth mentioning. And, as more and more countries face resource constraints, increasing social problems and economic down-turn, their importance has grown even more.
Resources have always been scarce, but countries with low resources are hit even harder by the changing economic scenario of the world and the globalization. These nations are already facing the problem of low economy and resources. But, they are further faced by the challenges of environmental degradation like climate change, droughts, famine, floods, landslides, and other disasters, political instability and insecurity, migration, increasing unemployment, and so on. So, where does the role of social entrepreneurs lie in?
Let me discuss about one of the major pressing problems of many resource poor countries – unemployment.
Nations are facing increasing problems of unemployment largely due to poverty, insecurity and changing market economy leading to low investment in business and industries that further leads to loss of job opportunities. This is one reason out of several others. While nations are not being able to provide enough opportunities for people, more and more people are getting unemployed, indulged into drug-use, robbery, crimes and other social problems, and many are migrating to other countries as well.
So, one of the major roles of the social entrepreneurs should be to come up with creativeness and visionary ideas to address the problem of unemployment through job creation. As governments have not been able to tackle this problem, social entrepreneurs could pave a way to support them in creating job opportunities and engaging people in productive activities.
Coming up with new business ideas would be one important aspect. But, it is more important to think innovatively to make maximum use of the locally available resources for production. And, also important is to engage as many unemployed people as possible to prevent them from getting involved in other unsocial activities and immigration, and developing them as the source of economic development.
Employment to all, even through such approaches, might be impossible. Volunteerism can be one option in this case. Kumari Middleton in Volunteerism, the Answer to Unemployment talks about how volunteerism could address not only the problem of unemployment, but also different social problems. She also talks about how volunteerism helps to develop the unskilled and unemployed youth into the skilled and productive source of energy and economy for any country.
Social entrepreneurship and volunteerism could be one of the major options that many nations could adopt to address the problem of poverty and unemployment. While many initiatives are undergoing in many countries led by social entrepreneurs, this needs to be recognized and mainstreamed into national development agenda. Institutionalizing social entrepreneurship and integrating it with volunteerism is what needs to be done now, and at the national level.