Rising Trend: Social Responsibility is High on Millennials’ List

Rising Trend: Social Responsibility is High on Millennials’ List

Today, more than one third of the gainfully employed in the US is between 20 and 36 years old. By 2025, Millennials will represent a massive 75% of the American workforce. They have significant purchasing power.

Companies that support causes are gaining traction with the Millennial customer. But, social responsibility is not just about what they buy. A study from the Stanford Graduate School of Business revealed that 90% of MBAs from business schools in Europe and North America prefer working for organizations committed to social responsibility. Ethics and integrity, it seems, win out over financial reward.

Millennials are highly gadget connected. They have direct access to global problems, like finite resources, human rights, gender inequality and climate change. They’re also quick to share what they care about through social media platforms.

While larger companies and multinationals are catching on to the importance of social responsibility, a new type of business is gaining market share. Small online stores with a specific purpose to do good. Take Bottle 4 Bottle, an Australian family-owned business that invites customers to shop for a cause. Each time they sell a bottle of lotion or spray tan solution, they donate a bottle of premium formula to an orphaned or abandoned child in need.

Millennials support companies that do good, making social entrepreneurship a smart business model to follow. 70% of millennials are willing to pay more for a product that makes an impact on issues they care about.

We’re talking about young men and women with spending power estimated at $2.45 trillion! So, social responsibility should be a top priority for all companies that target this market segment.

Reference: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rising-trend-social-respo_b_14578380

Social Enterprises around the World

Social Enterprises around the World

Aiming to generate income if not wealth, the social enterprise comes up with innovative and people-friendly solutions to bring a positive change in the society. This aim distinguishes them from the corporate world: they work for the people who live below poverty line. This concept has existed from 1960s and is promoted by many individuals. The establishment of The Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, under the leadership of Muhammad Yunus was the first instance where the concept was thoroughly used, which addressed address the issue of people living below poverty line and gradually thus evolving as a strong identity.

For example, Founded by Jeff Skoll, the first president of ebay, the Skoll Foundation supports the social enterprises and highlights their work by establishing their partnerships with Sundance Institute and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.  Based in New York, Echoing Green is another non-profit organization that operates in social sector investing.

Also, there is Rang De which is a not profit online organization but lends small loans to individuals planning to start a new or grow their existing business. It is a successful attempt to bring together the two parts of India one of which is successfully progressing while one is left out due to shortage of resources.

Then Schwab foundation was founded by Professor Klaus Schwab and his wife, with an aim to promote social innovation. The foundation majorly addresses social problems and provides platforms at the country, global and regional levels.

Lastly is the Omidyar Network established in 2004, which fosters economic advancement. With a network of for-profit companies, the network encourages participation in the areas of government transparency, microfinance, social media and property rights.

Reference: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/social-enterprises-in-world.htm


Social Entrepreneurship at its best – Microfinance and the Revolution in the Third World

Social Entrepreneurship at its best – Microfinance and the Revolution in the Third World

Just recently, the rise of microfinance or microcredit has been a prominent revolution. There has been however been a challenge of financial access to banks and financial institutions. As a result microcredit revolution has been pioneered by the Nobel Laureate and Bangladeshi entrepreneur, Mohammed Yunus who with his Grameen Bank ensured that those at the “Bottom of the Pyramid” have access to credit in a manner that is easy, without red tape, and on terms that are congenial and favorable to the borrowers.

Traditionally, governments were unable to find resources especially in the Third World which they could channelize to the small entrepreneurs as well as had to face resistance from established banks and financial institutions who pointed to the abysmal record of repayment. Microcredit ensures that they are making loans to a pool of borrowers instead of individuals alone. Moreover, microcredit agencies also make it a point to lend for shorter durations as well as encourage repayment by educating and enlightening the borrowers of the advantages of credit repayment and further access to funding.

Having said that, it is not the case that microcredit has been an unqualified success all over the Third World. For example, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, there has been a spate of failures of reputed microcredit agencies wherein because of mismanagement, fraud, and over stretching their limits to force the borrowers to repay, these agencies ran afoul of the regulators leading to a full blown crisis in this sector.

Nevertheless, microcredit has indeed ushered in a revolution among the poor and the underprivileged in many Third World countries. Experts suggest broadening the base of borrowers base, and enhancing the skills of the small entrepreneurs to make the process becomes scalable, repeatable, and improves with each iteration.

Ref: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/social-entrepreneurship-at-its-best.htm

PRISM Awards to honor social entrepreneurship

PRISM Awards to honor social entrepreneurship

This year’s PRISM Award is accepting nominations no later than 7th February. The award ceremony, which happens annually, is presented to entrepreneurs who use their business acumen for the good of the society and not for gain.

It is presented by the Colorado Institute for Social Impact.

The main categories are:

  • Social Impact Business of the Year
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Social Impact Startup of the Year

The award will cover businesses and entrepreneurs from all over the state. Entrepreneurs and businesses can also nominate themselves. One recognition in each category will be awarded in northern and southern Colorado.

For a business to be nominated, it must have demonstrated social impact to Colorado and it must be based in the state. Both nonprofit and for-profit businesses are eligible, however, nonprofit must have 60 percent earned revenue.

The Social Impact Business of the Year is an entity that has been in operation for at least three years. It has a precise environment, community and social impact and also champions business profitability and growth.

“The Social Impact business of the Year has a clear and articulate Social Impact Model, which is regularly shared and understood in the community with articulated plans for the future,” the institute’s website states.

It aims to award “someone who achieves systemic and sustainable social change through innovation, a unique approach to a product or service, an innovative partnership or a redesign of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these.”

“We are seeking someone who can innovate with direct impact to a population, cause or industry by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem.”

Source: https://ci4si.org/prism-awards-2020/



How Egypt Manages To Support Social Entrepreneurship

How Egypt Manages To Support Social Entrepreneurship

For almost a decade, Egypt has made a tremendous leap in many fast-expanding startups and a fantastic set of supporting entities and communities. In 2019 according to a report by startup platform MAGNiTT, Egypt got ranked as the fastest-growing ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa and the second largest after UAE.

During this period, Egypt’s development in the entrepreneurship scene has been getting support from governmental entities and private organizations, which aid entrepreneurs in reaching their maximum potential by offering fund opportunities and mentorship.

Being aware of these governmental and private entities which provide help and support to startups, Egyptian youths were encouraged to start their developments, especially in light of the lack of employment opportunities and low wages.

The country’s population of more than 100 million citizens also make Egypt’s market one of the most lucrative, capturing the attention of not just startups from the wider region, but also investors. According to Jonathan Ortmans, the founder of Global Entrepreneurship Network’s (GEN), with an increase in youth population, low wage costs, and many niche markets almost saturated, Egypt is an excellent place to offer young entrepreneurs a suitable environment to experiment and develop their ideas.

Also, it’s noted that 82 percent of Egyptians perceive successful entrepreneurship as having a high social status, and up to 76 percent of them, mostly youth, see entrepreneurship as the right career choice. Moreover, according to a report published by GEM, 55.5 percent of the non-entrepreneurs surveyed showed their interest in starting their own business, a percentage which is double the global average.

However, without the support of the Egyptian government, many startups would never grow. There has been more engagement by the Investment Ministry and also other governmental institutions since the adoption of the government’s economic reform plan. Egypt has successfully established more incubators, providing a stepping stone for local entrepreneurs.




Youths in Nigeria Breathe Life Into Social Entrepreneurship

Youths in Nigeria Breathe Life Into Social Entrepreneurship

Upon purchasing an expensive ornament made of old corn husks, Olamide Ayeni-Babajide had an idea for Nigeria’s solution to its waste problem. In 2016, she started Pearl Recycling, which remakes solid waste like old tyres into furniture in Lagos, Africa’s most populated city with 21 million people and home to one of the largest garbage sites in the world.

The social enterprise, which is a business that aims to do good, is also looking into handling the unemployment problem for Nigerian youths. It trains hundreds of teens to recycle disused materials, with many of them going into setting up their waste ventures. According to Ayeni-Babajide, Nigeria is the right place for social entrepreneurs since there are diverse problems to be solved.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation’s second world poll on the best country to be a social entrepreneur found that among the 45 biggest economies, three African Nations, South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt, failed to make the top twenty. However, Nigeria came six when around 900 social enterprise experts were asked where youths are playing a vital role in the growing sector. Egypt was ranked at position four while South Africa was at place 34, supported by Deutsche bank.

In Nigeria, a country where the median age is about 18, youths are rising to find business solutions to challenges ranging from environmental to poverty to cultural issues, from illiteracy to pollution, things neglected by the government. Facing a youth unemployment crisis, with more than half of 15-35-year-olds lacking full-time jobs, a new generation of social entrepreneurs wishes to create opportunities and economic prosperity on their own.

Femi Taiwo, an executive director of LEAP Africa, said that encouragement for faith-based entities, motivational speakers, an array of international and local programs, and competitions for young leaders has helped pave the way. Taiwo says that these initiatives and many more place a spotlight on young people making a difference, and inspired many to jump into the bandwagon.




The Social Entrepreneur Who Promotes Nigeria through Music, Comic Books and Festivals

The Social Entrepreneur Who Promotes Nigeria through Music, Comic Books and Festivals

To comprehend Oriteme Banigo’s philosophy towards life and work, it helps to contextualize where he comes from. Banigo had a light-bulb moment in Dennis Shaughnessy’s class on social entrepreneurship at Northeastern 12 years ago, where things changed for him. Banigo recalls saying that they were taught that in whatever venture they do, there is a social impact; therefore, there needs to be a positive impact.

This philosophy has led to everything that he does, and there are no limits of projects vying for his time and attention. Banigo runs a publishing company that develops, produces, and distributes comic books teaching the history and culture of Nigeria. He also runs an entertainment company which outs on an annual beach music festival in Lagos. Banigo is also involved in advocacy work in his community in Lagos.

Shaughnessy’s class not only led to the beginning of these entrepreneurial pursuits for him but also left him with invaluable lessons that hardened back to a sage piece of advice he keeps. He says that his father always taught him that whatever he does, he needs to bring value to people, value to his family, value to his friend, and value to his workplace.

Banigo graduated from Northeastern with a degree in economics at the height of the Great Recession, then later moved back home to Lagos and started working at a bank for some years to fulfill a Nigerian mandate which requires citizens to work a minimum wage job in corporate, education or health for at least a year.

According to Banigo, who was raised by a Harvard-educated father together with his siblings, it was always his plans to move back. He said that he thought it would have been a waste to live somewhere else and not utilize his resources in Nigeria to achieve what he wanted in terms of impact.