Social Entrepreneurs were First Responders to the COVID-19 Crisis, The Reason they Should be Supported

Social Entrepreneurs were First Responders to the COVID-19 Crisis, The Reason they Should be Supported 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the impact of social entrepreneurs to the limelight. Being innovators on a social mission, they happen to be the first responders to the crisis created by the pandemic. With this, they are rightly placed as a representation of a newer standard for the governments and leaders today. For some time now social entrepreneurship has stood in the gap to solve failures at the market and have gone ahead to build a rather sustainable model that creates more inclusive economies.

With the strike of the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy, it is obvious that the most vulnerable members of the community are hit the hardest. With many countries getting into lockdown and many businesses closing down, many jobs have been lost exposing to these vulnerable people forfeiting the luxury of putting a simple meal at the table. The World Bank estimated more than 100 million people being pushed to an extreme level of poverty as a result of the pandemic. 

Social entrepreneurs have been down on the ground trying to help settle this crisis. For instance, the Schwab Foundation demonstrated how its 400 social entrepreneurs and innovators network has raised the living stands of more than 622 million people across 190 countries in its 2020 Impact Report. However, social entrepreneurs still do not have access to the necessary resources they need to do this noble task. Also, rarely do they find an opportunity to participate in the global and even local decision-making forums.

The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs comprising of 60 members that represent more than 50,000 social entrepreneurs all over released an Action Agenda laying down 25 solid interventions that will go a long way to support social entrepreneurship specifically during this period of COVID-19.


Social Enterprises Recognized in the SEAL Asia Conference 2020

Social Enterprises Recognized in the SEAL Asia Conference 2020

With the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the globe, it is evident that social enterprises have played a pertinent role in poverty alleviation, improvement in health-care, enhancing food security and empowering women in Asia. It is on this account that social enterprises in Asia and senior business leaders and policymakers convened to respond to key questions on how to support social entrepreneurship in achieving its goals. This was done by holding a virtual Third Social Enterprise Leveraging and Advocacy (SEAL) Asia Conference 2020.

SEAL Asia Conference 2020 brought together many participants from all over the world in the field of social entrepreneurship, academicians, senior policy and financial leaders and civil society organizations. They needed to mobilize policies, technology and finances to boost recovery of social enterprises and to come up with ways of creating their best practices in health response, the economy of the local community and the empowerment in several countries across the region of Asia. The host of the conference was the Institute of Social Entrepreneurship in Asia (ISEA) in conjunction with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Marie Lisa Decany, the president of ISEA, said that the pandemic provided an opportunity for supporting social enterprises in their significant role of rebuilding the economy. The UNESCAP Executive Secretary in the keynote speech at the conference said that inasmuch as governments were busy bringing stakeholders together to fight the health and socioeconomic crisis associated with the pandemic in Asia, it was encouraging to have social enterprises step-up to respond to it.


Graduate students create change through social entrepreneurship

Graduate students create change through social entrepreneurship

Catalyze program aims to create positive change in this dynamic world while supporting those who are willing to take up the challenge. It provides financial support and learning for graduates who create social ventures to address specific social problems. They are paired with successful social entrepreneurs who are in their area of concern.

The program offers support through workshops, training, and mentorship to equip the students with much-needed skills. Catalyze, as with other experiential initiatives, gives students the invaluable opportunity to gain hands-on learning, grow new passions, explore new ideas, and make impactful real-world decisions. It also allows them to reflect on their learnings with their cohort peers in ways that are challenging, if not impossible, in a traditional classroom setting.

Julia Lmanoff, is an educator, nurse, mom, business owner, and a participant in the 2020 Catalze cohort. She can manage all the above duties thanks to her passion. From experience ad her research, she concluded that there exists a lack of resources and support to new parents after leaving the hospital.

As such, together with her business partner Aaron Li, they launched the COLO families. The business helps new parents adjust to parenthood by providing support and education.

Like Imanoff, Namista Tabassum, an MBA student, finds her passion growing stronger. Taking part in Catalyze for a second year has solidified Tabassum’s desire to bring about social change through consulting with profit and not-for-profit organizations after completing her degree.

“I want to bring a social, co-operative, innovative mindset into big corporations to improve their social and sustainability initiatives so that they can be impactful while doing their normal business,” says Tabassum.


Kingston EcDev launches new programs for local entrepreneurs

Kingston EcDev launches new programs for local entrepreneurs

The Kingston Economic Development Corporation has started two new programs namely Social Enterprise Fundamentals and Starter Company Plus that are aimed to support local entrepreneurs in their business journey. The latter is offered through Kingston EcDEv with funding from the government of Ontario.

This program is aimed at providing training to new entrants in the business sphere and businesses that have been running for less than five years. Business owners will have an opportunity to pitch for up to $5,000 in support of their operations. Andrew Patricio, the founder of BizLauch, will facilitate the training.

According to a press release dated Wednesday, September 9, 2020, by Kingston EcDev, Patricio has trained up to 100,000 entrepreneurs.

“Building a company is already a daunting feat for many individuals, but when coupled with a global pandemic, it’s exponentially more difficult… The Starter Company Plus program did an incredible job helping Bounce focus on adapting to these unprecedented times and how to continue building a sustainable business – all in a time-efficient manner,” said Sean Monterio founder of Bounce.

The Social Enterprise Fundamentals is an 8-week long program that covers the basics of social entrepreneurship. It is a part-time online program.

“This course is extremely useful to individuals wishing to learn more about what it means to be a social entrepreneur … You will learn how to holistically understand the roles and driving motivations of a thriving social enterprise and what it means to generate meaningful entrepreneurial impact … This is a great opportunity to gain access to incredible tools and learnings towards becoming a social entrepreneur,” said Joanna Reynolds a Social Innovation Specialist at the Center of Social Innovation.