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.”




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.



Canada Leads in Rankings of The Most Favorable Countries For Social Entrepreneurship

Canada Leads in Rankings of The Most Favorable Countries For Social Entrepreneurship

Canada was ranked as the most preferred county for business leaders looking into social problems in a global poll while the United States fell from the top position due to political uncertainty. Australia was ranked second in the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s second global survey on the best state for social entrepreneurs. Australia has seen the biggest gain of 24 places from its initial position during the inaugural poll in 2016. France came in third.

Mexico fell down 15 places from 2016 becoming the last; however, the US was the biggest loser by falling from position one to the 32nd position. The poll had about 900 social entrepreneurs’ experts citing the difficulties with government policy and access to investments in the US.

According to Francois Bonnici, head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, over the past three years, there had been some significant gains and some ongoing challenges for social entrepreneurs addressing issues from refugees to climate change. Bonnici said that governments are recognizing that to achieve their agendas, it is a group of citizens and entrepreneurs who will want to improve society and the environment.

Bonnici added that. However, it has some little different flavor in each country and that government rile is essential and can legitimize the sector in their country through creating these policies. Business entrepreneurs worldwide are continuing to set their sights on social issues with ventures, which can be a commercial success while looking into problems such as mental health, homelessness, knife crime, unemployment, and loneliness.

For instance, South Africa has a dating service to match unemployed youth with employers while in India; Project Patradya is handling the waste problem by employing Afghan refugee women to make edible bowls. However, with little data on which nations were encouraging the sector, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, together with the Deutsche Bank, started a poll in 2016 that was repeated in 2019.



UK Drops Down Further In Best Countries for Social Entrepreneurship Ranking List

UK Drops Down Further In Best Countries for Social Entrepreneurship Ranking List

According to a study, Canada, France, and Australia are classified as the best countries to be a social entrepreneur. However, the UK has fallen from third place to the 13th since 2016. Results from the global perception poll held by the Thomson Reuters Foundation together with Deutsche Bank’s Made for Good program, Britain has moved ten places lower since the inaugural survey of the biggest economies globally in 2016 as much as London is still a prime area.

The US, which was the holder of the first place in 2016, also dropped further to position 32. The survey polled up to 900 experts to find trends, challenges, and opportunities related to the business-for-purpose sector. It looked at six crucial areas; public understanding, the ability for social entrepreneurs to make a living, government support, access to investments, and whether the sector was gaining momentum.

The results take into account two questions; gender pay gap and representation in leadership roles in social enterprises. The UL fell one place from 18th to 19th position, while the US was last, and Belgium, Canada, and Australia took the top three spots. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents thought that women were appropriately represented in leadership roles overall; however, only 44 percent thought female leaders were paid the same as men.

The inaugural youth ranking also took into account two questions; the impact of having younger people involved in the sector and interest in social enterprises. In these, the UK was ranked second to last between Russia and Poland, with Canada, France, and Germany at the top. Overall, many asked believed that social entrepreneurship was gaining momentum globally. Nevertheless, more than half said that people still do not understand what they do.

In the UL, Brexit, which dominated the political agenda, was blamed for slowing the pace for the development of social entrepreneurship. In Scotland, the results showed that social entrepreneurship was thriving.



Social Entrepreneurship Brought Up at The Gaidar Forum

Social Entrepreneurship Brought Up at The Gaidar Forum

During the first day of the 10th Gaidar Forum, an expert discussion, “Social entrepreneurship- a new social elevator for young people,” was discussed. The forum was moderated by Vyacheslav Shoptenko, the Director of the Institute of Organizational Development and Strategic Initiatives of RANEPA, Manager of Manage! Student project.

At the start of the discussion, Shoptenko outlined three main terms that listeners are to familiarize themselves with and know how they are interrelated; social entrepreneurship, youth, and social elevator.

Alexey Komissarov, the Vice-Rector, Director of the Higher School of Public Administration of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, General Director of the Autonomous Non Commercial organization; Russia answered the question of what opportunities young people have in social entrepreneurship. Komissarov said that many structures had been developed for the implementation of social projects such as the Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization “Russia”- Country of Opportunities.

He said that the critical task of the organization is to find and support new social ideas. Komissarov added that young people are motivated not only by finances but also by the possibility of self-realization and the search for themselves in the projects. He also mentioned the innovation in the Leaders of Russia project whereby the semi-finalists will have to implement their social plan to confirm their leadership status and to reach the final.

During the discussion, the topical issue was the draft law on social entrepreneurship that has been discussed and developed for a while. Milena Arslanova, the director of the Investment Policy and Entrepreneurship Development Department of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, mentioned that the apparent problem in drafting a new regulation is the inability to define who social entrepreneurs are clearly.

After a lengthy discussion of the draft laws, the authorities noted several criteria for determining social entrepreneurs; for instance, a social entrepreneur creates employment for a specified circle of persons; ensures access of goods and services produced by people with disabilities to the market; manufactured products and services which improve the quality of life and lastly, solves the specific tasks of society.