What is the importance of social entrepreneurship in today’s economic environment?
Lately, people pay attention to social entrepreneurship, its importance, its difference from the classical entrepreneurship and the impact it has in the society and the economy of a country, but also the entire planet.
But what do we mean by the term social entrepreneurship?
As social entrepreneurship, is defined the use of enterprise techniques in start-up and existing businesses in order to develop, fund and implement solutions to the social, cultural and environmental problems, that the government is unable to solve through grated entrepreneurship species. So social enterprises are businesses that try to fill the gap that speculative enterprises are not interested to engage and at the same time to offer jobs to people with disabilities.
Why is so important the social entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship, if is designed and operated properly, it can help address major problems concerning both society and the environment. Simultaneously, social entrepreneurship can contribute to the development of each country and in their entirety (European Union). Conventional businesses but also the goverment, in many cases, are not able to give effective solution to issues such as unemployment, social inequality, environmental problems, poverty e.t.c. (as the profit margin in such activities is limited). The support of vulnerable social groups, until recently, considered as a goverment’s responsibility and not involvement field of enterprises, a fact that social enterprises seek to change in Greece. In other Western countries social enterprises have done a considerable success until now.
You can read the summary of the report carried out for the European Economic and Social Committee of the International Research and Information Centre for Public, Social and Cooperative Economy here.
The difference to conventional business?
Conventional businesses measure their performance based primarily on revenues and profits. In the case of social enterprises, which main goal is to offer to the society and the environment, such measurements will not export the appropriate results. Often, a big amount of these enterprises revenues, are based on donations and grants. However, the social enteprises have to develop an economic system and business model that will generate profits, because if financial sources do not exist the company will stop working.
Gradually then, these enterprises should become independent and use economic tools to make known their work and be able to continue their activity. A common phenomenon that is observed, is the denial or unawareness of social entrepreneurs to attract customers or investors and thereby receive income.
The social enterprises are also enterprises that need income, a proper business structure, planning, organization, management and control to continue their business activity.
In modern economic and business environment, such obstacles are easier to overcome, since there are experts who easily can share knowledge and experiences and provide promotion and operation of the social enterprises.
In an economic environment that is constantly changing, problems and social inequality should not remain static. With the help of entrepreneurship, solutions can be given to important social and environmental issues, in order not to break the consistency of the society.
P.G.A. & E.L.