First let’s look at what a social enterprise is. Regardless if they are for profit or non-profit they are here for one thing – to bring about social change. Instead of being companies that are here just to make money, they are here to impact and change the society around them for the better, including both societal issues as well as environmental issues. They want to make the world a better place.
Where did it all begin?
Previously, social enterprises and entrepreneurs started in Asia mostly by foreigners because of their support that is offered for businesses of their kinds. However, there are many who are doing this but don’t even identify themselves as such because it’s still a relatively new classification of business. One of the largest social enterprises, Grameen Bank, started in Asia and is now world-wide. Consider this, the founder of Grameen Bank had won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in helping impoverished communities and individuals to get loans without collateral. It helps to make the community a better place because people now have the ability to do something, regardless of their income.
How Social Enterprises can grow and what do they need?
In order for social enterprises to continue to expand and help more and more people they need a few things, funding being the major one. Many investors of social enterprises come from Western countries but there has yet to be local financial support for them which makes it a bit more difficult for them to succeed in their work. This also helps to gain employees for the business which is obviously vital to keep it running because without funds people can’t get paid, so unless they are volunteers this is essential to growth.
There also has to be more happening in terms of regulations and such that can keep up with the pace of growing social enterprises to ensure that what they are doing follows certain laws but also to ensure that the government is providing support for it, and without regulations, it really isn’t even on their radar.
Social enterprises and entrepreneurs are something that we as a society needs, and looking at Asia as a compass for what we should be doing is only going to benefit the world. It needs saving right now both socially and environmentally, and supporting these types of businesses can help to change the world for the better.