Even India’s growth spiral in the years to come will not be able to support the challenges it faces due to its mushrooming population. Illiteracy, poverty, unemployment and lack of infrastructure among others is just the tip of the iceberg, although there is no doubt that India has vast potential, as can be seen from the immense progress it has made, despite roadblocks like widespread corruption, immense labour problems, red tape around every corner and inadequate infrastructure.
However, if India truly wants to be counted among the world’s influential nations and economies, it is going to require a little more support from within. It can be safely said that trying to change the situation by prodding the Government into action is not the most ideal solution, at least in the short run. Another alternative is obviously NGOs, which have done their best in trying to provide a better platform for holistic development of the lesser privileged. However, the job is easier said than done and it is becoming increasingly clear that the NGOs will not be able to bring about blanket changes in society as is required.
This is where a Social Entrepreneur enters. This novel concept is not very widely known, but it can be a powerful tool in bringing about any social change on a major scale. A Social Entrepreneur is one who recognizes a social problem and then uses his/her managing skills to promote a social change. A Social Entrepreneur thinks in terms of how much of an impact he/she has had on society and not merely in terms of profits as a normal entrepreneur would.
Social Entrepreneurship is more tuned to making broad based long term changes in society. It aims at empowerment and development, rather than just lending a helping hand for a short span of time. This essence of Social Entrepreneurship is what distinguishes it from NGOs and also what makes it so important in context to India’s future growth.
A few illustrations could better demonstrate the magnitude of Social entrepreneurship.
There is Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which involves giving small loans to the impoverished without requiring collateral. Another local example is that of Professor Francine Pinto, who runs ‘Garbage Concern’ in Mumbai. The concern collects wet garbage from housing societies and transforms them into Vermicompost, which they then proceed to sell. Using this money, they are training many slum youth to perform the same procedures.
Thus, Social Entrepreneurship is an ideal way to turn the country’s problems into opportunities to develop. This has prompted many youth to implement their reform ideas, leading to startling results. Social Entrepreneurship provides us youth an outlet to advocate change on our own. It is an ideal way to bring about the societal change in India from within. If all of us join hands in creating or helping create sustaining endeavors for the lesser privileged, then the day when we have a considerably literate and egalitarian society is not far away.