Social entrepreneurship: business on a social level
What makes entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd? It’s the appetite they have for innovation, the determination to seize any opportunity they may come across and most importantly, their willingness to take the risk. Social entrepreneurs have those characteristics plus their concern for humanity and the world.
Social entrepreneurship can be simply put as entrepreneurship for the society. It is starting a business for the purpose of supporting a social cause, such as improving living conditions for a community or achieving social equality. Social entrepreneurs use business as a means of social change and development.
There are two types of Social Entrepreneurship: profit and non-profit enterprises. Not-for-profit organizations usually rely on donations to help solve a specific issue or a segment of the community. However, the term of social entrepreneurship is not exclusive to companies that are opened solely for a social cause. Some large corporates assign the profits gained through selling a specific product to fund and financially enable a group of the society, given that the customer is mindful that their buying this product will help train fresh graduates for instance.
Challenges social entrepreneurs are likely to face
The very first tip that successful social entrepreneurs give is always about the huge responsibility they bear. Once a social enterprise is up and running, you are not only responsible for yourself as the owner of the company or the owner of your job, but also for a huge group of people that you must maintain your support for. This responsibility doubles when you stand on a level where you have to take a risk.
Another major obstacle many social enterprises have to overcome is funding. While for-profit social enterprise are able to generate revenues and maintain their support, non-profitable entities are likely to fall short of the needed capital. Regular fundraisers could be a solution but not forever. As it’s not easy for people to trust a social enterprise when it’s running the business for monetary purposes, such companies have to double their efforts in making people believe in them and their purposes.
Status of Social Entrepreneurship in the UAE?
The UAE ranked In a study conducted in 2016, titled ‘The best places to be a Social Entrepreneur’, the UAE held the 19th position. The study shows that social entrepreneurship is gaining momentum in the UAE and that social entrepreneurs are well received amongst the UAE community.
The major issue that UAE social enterprises tackle is creating a sustainable future that doesn’t depend on oil and non-renewable energy. More companies today are designing strategies that incorporate more renewable and clean energy.