Social Entrepreneurship, StartingBloc and me

I have every pleasure to introduce you to the concept that has blown my mind ever since I started learning about it, called Social Entrepreneurship. Join me as I learn about this exciting movement.

The Institute For Social Entrepreneurs provides a definition starting point.

“Dependency”

The traditional business model for nonprofits, in which they depend solely or almost entirely on charitable contributions and public sector subsidies, with earned income either non-existent or minimal

I have always admired non-profit or NGO work. Coming from a developing country, one always has a heightened awareness of the need in the country. Kenya is a regional hub for aid operations in the eastern Africa region. Since those early days, when I was younger, I realize that their funding comes from donor agencies and other philanthropic individuals.

” Sustainability”

The ability to fund the future of a nonprofit through a combination of earned income, charitable contributions and public sector subsidies

I understand the vast numbers of organizations that have collapsed due to funding shortages.

” Self-sufficiency”

The ability to fund the future of a nonprofit through earned income alone

Few organizations have a long-lifetime.

” Social entrepreneur”

Any person, in any sector, who runs a social enterprise

Where I am, in my industry, I can live and work as a social entrepreneur.

“Social enterprise”

Any organization, in any sector, that uses earned income strategies to pursue a double or triple bottom line, either alone (as a social sector business) or as part of a mixed revenue stream that includes charitable contributions and public sector subsidies

For more information about the Triple Bottom Line, read Andy Savitz’ book.

Prior to this year, I had heard of social change through internship sites like idealist.org
On an Idealist.Org side note, if you are in the Chicago area, check out their Idealist Campus conference on March 23-25, 2007. They will have amazing opportunities for networking with like minded idealists.

I would not have learned as much as I have without the tireless folks over at StartingBloc, whose Institute for Social Innovation I attended this Spring in Boston at the Fletcher School, Tufts and Sloan MIT.

StartingBloc provides socially conscious students and young professionals with the training, experience, and networks necessary to drive social, economic, and environmental innovation through their careers and lives as engaged citizens.

We are asking ourselves the right questions as we enter the working world. Will my life work count for something? What meaningful contribution have I made to the world?

We are set to do great things.

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