Say pointed out part of the story, but not the whole story.
Social entrepreneurs do help society reach higher productivity levels by filling the holes left by governments. There are so many social problems exist in the society such as income gap, poor living conditions, unemployment, etc. People cannot rely on governments and big companies to address all those problems. Then here comes the bunch of excellent social entrepreneurs. They find out problems around them or in the society, and they try to use their wisdoms and resources to solve them. Besides higher productivity, social entrepreneurship also creates a new model by combing social mission and business ventures. In the past decades, people would like to associate social sectors with inefficient, ineffective and unresponsive. Because of the framed stereotype, people want to make profit avoided “solving social problems”. Social entrepreneurship sets a successful model for all businessmen and women to show that companies can organically use business venture to solve social problems. Lily Liu, cofounder of Public Staff, created the Public Staff App to help residences request from local governments; Andrew Mangino, founder of the Future Projected, designed the program help underserved kids to dream big and create their own “future projects”; Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, founders of Aribnb, came up with the largest worldwide platform for travelers to share rooms. Those companies address social problems that governments are difficult to approach. They start from bottoms and grow to big. A lot of them already got millions of investments, and they use money to expand to have more impact to the society.
Making money becomes the second priority ,making difference is their main mission.
The reason why we really need social entrepreneurship in our life is that it emphasizes the “doing well by doing good” to attract more brilliant people to join this process to move our society forward; It also reforms the pattern of living. People would choose live with Aribnb instead of living in hotels; people would buy ecofriendly products and learn how to save resources; more importantly, this terminology becomes the life styles youths chase and celebrate. Most of social entrepreneurs are under 35 years old. They lead their whole generation to take more social responsibility and to influence more peer to join in.
During this summer, I work with Detroit Food Academy which is full of young Detroit social entrepreneurs. It aims to offer afterschool and summer programs for young Detroiters who are interested in food industry to gain experience in cooking, food preparation, startup and leadership trainings. DFA tries to solve youth unemployment in Detroit area by teaching students start their own business or work in food related industry. Youth unemployment in Michigan is up to 59% which is highest among states, and it leads to youth crimes, young homeless and more problems. In order to save these students from dropping schools and becoming one of the unemployment. Detroit Food Academy takes the responsibility to summon students after school or in summer time to give them exposure to entrepreneurship, independence, capacity and so on. Now, DFA has been created hundreds of jobs for youths who did not have any plans for futures. DFA also launched its own products Mitten Bites last year and started gaining revenue. Mitten Bites is youth drive, youth lead and youth owned, so DFA hires students in programs and let them lead the company. In the process, students gain experience in business management, food production, nutrition, and even marketing skills. Gladly, Mitten Bites is now beginning earning revenue and all the money will go back to expand the business and hire more students. Social entrepreneurship does not equal 0 profit. Companies make profit along the way they solve social problems.
The term “social entrepreneurship” is over-mentioned in social media and in our lives, some people misunderstand or misuse it a lot, therefore making the term sound vague and tricky. In fact, social entrepreneurship is the term to represent my generation. We are more than finding a job. We are moving the society forward by participating in social entrepreneurship.