Inspiring Individuals and Communities to Create Social Value

Posted by on October 21, 2013 in charity, Education, Entrepreneurship, poverty, World

Helping-HandsHistory has conveyed that certainly one of the most sustainable and powerful instruments for empowering global development has been education. Community workers and philanthropists who have dedicated their lives to serving poverty-stricken areas across the world have universally agreed that education has been the only long-term resolution for getting communities on their feet.

Indeed, education is a powerful weapon but adding an entrepreneurial flavour creates a much broader avenue. Social entrepreneurship education equips individuals and communities to construct a durable resolve for any type of challenge.

Every individual is faced with a problem that directly or indirectly impacts his or her day-to-day activities and this can be in both developed and developing communities. Both groups of people encounter different kinds of challenges but personal obstacles nonetheless. Teaching these individuals how to build a business with a social purpose that positively impacts people, communities, environments and economies equips them to avoid dependency on external bodies when addressing problems.

How this can be achieved is quite simple. Individuals can be convinced that they can take matters into their own hands by empowering them from an earlier age with the belief that creating social impact is achievable by anyone as long as creativity is present. Creativity facilitates the appreciation of novelty and theorists have verified that meta-cognitive processes involved in creativity can be taught, (Clapham, Maria M. 1997).

“By manipulating cognitive components, entrepreneurship can be shaped and entrepreneurs can be made essentially” (Busenitz and Barnet, 1997; Baron, 1998).

Therefore, teaching individuals to creatively exploit market gaps allows them to captilise on any opportunity as long as the window is open. Combining this with teaching on community development will intrinsically inspire students in schools to attempt the route to social entrepreneurship in order to create social value.

It is unfortunate that such notions are not being instilled in children on a larger scale and they are not able to benefit from this inspiration. If parents were to dig deeper into the curriculum of their children’s schools, would much be found in the academic teaching of community development?

The benefits of social entrepreneurship education are profound and correct implementation not only creates social value for communities but also has proven to foster economic growth on large proportions.

HelpingB aims is tackling this with a two-step approach:

1. Through education we equip individuals aged 16-30 years to convert their ideas into social ventures;

2. Through crowdfunding, young individuals with ambitious ideas are able to collect market data, validate the market opportunity, capture customer information, promote, build relationships, raise risk-free funds and avoid losing equity from investments or paying high interest rates on loans. If a crowdfunding campaign is unsuccessful, since no money is exchanged, the project owner has the opportunity to re-tailor the project to meet market expectations and try again! This new approach enables project owners to create economically sustainable solutions for their communities.

Established social entrepreneurs are budding new enterprises to implement this and have already achieved international success. One enterprise is InspirEngage, which has reached 1 million people via its skills boot camps and has created UK’s first social enterprise programme for primary schools.

More enterprises are joining the movement to embed community development and social enterprise into the academic curriculum as they realise that championing this will bring about change. If children are equipped to solve social problems from an earlier age, they will grow up in a society designed to give back via a phenomenal domino effect. The world will change when our children are educated and are prepared to positively impact local and global communities.

Sheeza Shah

Founder at UpEffect - crowdfunding and support for social good products addressing humanity's greatest challenges. Sheeza's work has been featured in The Guardian, Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Virgin and more. She is often found championing conscious capitalism and social entrepreneurship at universities, business leadership events and various other platforms.

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