Social Entrepreneurship is the field of study which deals with solving persistent social problems in an innovative and cost-effective way while at the same time, generating profits out of it. The factor which differentiates social entrepreneurship from other entrepreneurships is its core value and its purpose which aims at creating employment opportunities in remote places of the country. Social entrepreneurs are motivated to change the habits and behaviour of the common mass and thus, uplift mankind as a whole by integrating technology and investing their energy in marketing and communication in order to reach out to a greater population.
Lady: Okay so before we begin, I’ll be narrating or taking you to the journey of three stories, three plus one actually, before we get that. Just, just go to the first slide, go back, okay see this, this. So, there are three stories, three plus one as it is, one is a journey of this Polio eradication when I was working in Bihar, the second is I was an associate to the member of parliament in Haryana and the third is as a part of my PhD degree I travelled to Appalachians in the United States for Community Radio. So I am going to narrate or brief my presentation today or my discussion today to three stories. We’ll come back to this, one at a time. There’s another plus one, which I’ll talk about later. But to give you a background as to why I have come down in to the social sector or social occupation, there is a lot to know about these points. So in 2009, I was working with Unicef Bihar ---------------- and as a member of the team of international experts in Unicef, I was very disheartened. I came back not sad, not because of this situation in Bihar but also how the social sector was working through international domain. My second story is the concept of charity in politics. Yaah. Then we talk about politics everywhere in the country each stuff are free. Humari road bana do..----- Humari scholarship lagwa do.. that kind of attitude. And that’s a very sad thing --- the social sector. That charity is what it starts from and it ends to. So that’s my second story. And the third one is a big set up, you know, a huge community radio that I saw working in Orissa, Konark and failing because of lack of finance and resource. So the question of financial and human resource is there already, some get written in my story. So next slide. So what, I think it’s time I ask, what is your idea of social entrepreneurship, does anyone wants to present their idea, what is that one thing that comes to your mind when you hear about social entrepreneurship.
Audience: Doing for others.
Lady: Okay, doing good for others, and anything else?
Audience: I think we should create the impact for the society as a whole and also make it profitable, at the same time.
Lady: Okay, so create an impact but still make a profit, what else?
Audience: Solving the pressing social issues and,
Lady: Okay so solving issues, a very critical point because we are trying to solve issues, for that, do you think it’s a little bit more ------ , do you think, why did you venture into socio economic notion if at all? You? ....because somebody has to ------ , hmm, yaah
Audience: Because if we add real value, profit is countable, because the users are not supposed to be attractive, us bechari ki need hain, but koi dene ko tayyar nahin, mil jata hain dene wala, successfully de raha hain toh jis price mein de de, woh ate rahenge
Lady: Interesting, yaah!
Audience: Actually in social entrepreneurship space, there is less of competition because many people are not getting excited for social entrepreneurship but there is like, real need of it as we have mentioned, but we live in a society, we are not apart from society , we are a part of society , so if we don’t create entrepreneurship and opportunities within society then where will we create the opportunities
Lady: Okay so you are saying competition right? I’ll come back to that point at some time in my presentation, what else
Audience: See I think what’s very interesting about social entrepreneurship is basically ---,what this gentleman said about creating an impact right, I think the very basic character of social entrepreneurship is empowerment, solving the problem by empowering the people, solving it for themselves --------, so I think what’s very interesting in social entrepreneurship is it’s self--------, it’s self-sustaining and it’s going further. I think that is the most --- and widespread about social entrepreneurship, that at a certain point, and as a social entrepreneur what you are gonna do is that, that point is very very close, it’s not long and when you reach that point then it becomes self-sustaining, and that’s – to any one at any point and if at any point I ----- take my hands off the execution and the business runs by itself, that’s the most beautiful thing about social entrepreneurship
Lady: Okay, so you are talking more in terms of doing good but making business out of it
Audience: Yes because you know, hand holding, it has to stop at some point and it stops very quickly in social entrepreneurship if it is implemented correctly
Lady: Yaah so on that term, I feel back to where I began because there’s a, the story that I mentioned ---- before now is exactly that, because where do you stop the hand-holding? And at what point do you do it and you know that it’s going to self-sustain itself, and that’s where we’ll create the difference in a social entrepreneurship kind of sector because that defines how you differentiate yourself from an NGO or a social --- organization and social entrepreneurship, you know. Next slide. So yaah, when I say, as you have mentioned and as everyone has said that, you are bringing business concepts which are ideas that can’t be treated with but we are bringing those concepts into the socially devoid of the social development area, so there is a problem, there is an existing problem. Let’s say, you know, say water hygiene, water cleanliness, wash is a big problem over there ----, and there are ways that have been used to solve that problem, over and over the years it’s gripping. So how do you innovate or how do you reach a point when you say Aisa kuch nahi chal raha hain, ab kuch naya sochna padhega and solve it in a way that it sustains ---------, that your wake up moment when you think, and it need not be complicated, the idea of social entrepreneurship is, solutions are never complicated. Because if they are complicated they will not free, you know, because the effect that they will see or any solution reaching out to a greater audience will not be. So we bring in business ideas, business concepts but the funny story is that as a social sector person when I talk about marketing, you know, people freak out. Arrey ap aise shore pe marketing word maat use karo, we are not a business world, you know and UNICEF and --- they such freak out when you say let’s do marketing, but when you are trying to solve a behaviour, you are actually doing marketing, you are actually using the principles of marketing. So, turning and twisting the idea of business and bringing into sociology ---, that’s how social entrepreneurship happens. So we are moving beyond the non-profit mode. You know I got to one of these conferences recently and I was told, you know, India is soon going to be removed from Tier-C and when that happens Ap logo ko discount dena padhega ------ these -----. So I started laughing and I was like jab when you know when Tier C category of countries se India ko remove kiya jayega, maximum international fundings will stop. And what will we do then, you know, everywhere I told this thing and this is across everywhere, every where I was told this thing no no India is a very rich country and I say I know. UN says what we bring to here is not money, we bring to here the experience. Money is given by the government. So what are we doing today? When that funding will cease, how will we sustain ourselves? So we have to move beyond the non-profit mode. You know, that is there. It’s existing but it is unsustainable. And it’s one of the biggest problems with, you know, if you look at the social sector. It’s not working. So many NGOs I have worked with, half of the reasons why I have just stopped working with them is they said humari funding ap ki job --------. So what do you do? You go out of it. You have to go to a new place. So that’s another thing, moving beyond the non-profit mode is very critical.
And looking at the problem, why are we thinking about social enterprise? Because we are not looking at problems as problems but we are looking at the problem in its whole ecosystem. How do you solve it for the whole ecosystem? Plus I think what is very important and what defines you as a social entrepreneur and an entrepreneur, divides you between the two is what your value is. I, my core value is I want to create change in a particular problem and not that I am going to create an ------. That ---, if it is at the back of your head, then there is clarity with reference to that. You know you are trying to make money out of it, yes, and that’s a good thing. After all you have to sustain yourself over a period of time, but that kind of clarity that my first agenda is solving a problem and not, you know how much money---------.
So sustainability as I mentioned. So going back to this place in Konark, it’s a very small community radio set up in and they were foreigners by the way, with three working people, three paid staff members. And amazing structure. They are working with rival locations, they are working on -----, and these guys work in an activist mode and they were able to bring up scams in a lot of community schemes you know, in a ----- programs, in a ----- scheme, then there were employment guarantee schemes just this radio station was able to do that. But the only problem they had was no financing. So when that situation happened, they kept on doing programmes because the funder -----. So they said, I asked them, ------. They said, itna nahin, issey zyada problem toh IG ka hain. So I said why are you all running at the ---- programme, they said because the donor is giving me money to ------. So who is driving the social agenda, the social enterprise? You know there is a need and that is why you are creating ----- but hence you see, it’s all about you know, the funder and the funding concern and that’s how you shape up your programmes.
Innovation, you know. I’m perhaps trying to solve a problem in a much more complicated way than the problem is already existing. I have to simplify it. Only then will it replicate it, it will go beyond the normal ---. So as I say, you know, there is a problem, and in ordinary times a lot of friends in my circle, who are into socio economy --------, they would create a bigger solution which is much more complicated to me, and I say, how will you go down and tell these people how to do it? They say I don’t know. They say but the idea is big you know. I say do I ---- the idea?
Competitors everywhere I have mentioned. Are we competitors in social enterprise? Are there competitors? Because apparently every man is working who wants to solve big problems. So let’s not think about competitors but think about partners. Competitors as a partner. So if we have a social enterprise then what I am trying to do is, something related to another social start up thing. --------. And we can ---- collaborate with them instead of competing with them.
And ---- at the bottom of the pyramid. ---- . We have a lot of competition, sorry, a lot of scopes in India, where we can create solutions to a lot of problems very easily.
Okay so we have a lot of problems existing, that social enterprise -----, there is so much scope ---, but there is also a lot of problems that are existing, here in this social enterprise. One of which, a major one, is it is an ------. ---------. Like I am working in this social enterprise and we have ------ very interesting innovative solutions to the problem.-----------. We have to fall under the criteria of tax exemption. We are not a CSR , we are not an NGO, we are not a government -----, so the market structure is so complicated that you have to explain yourself as a social start up and you want funds. It’s a very difficult job.
Recognition in the market place is a very big problem ---- as far as capital --- then it becomes a very big problem. What after the --- cease funds, a lot of people I see around today is that – they are very innovative. But as soon as, what happens is as soon as funds cease, because they are not ----- ones, they fall flat. So you have to generate funds alongside solving problems.
It is okay to develop a plan, but it is very important to be flexible and keep on refining, you know. Current situation in India is, ke haan ever changing fund scenarios. So, today there is a problem and it might complicate, just a week later, because of something there that is happening, how do you know? So we have to be innovative enough you know in the social enterprise, you cannot be like an NGO sitting and doing something, or an international organisation who start to plan ----, doing --- ---- kind of mentality, you start planning from scratch, instead of using something that --------.
As I said, can we ------- the regulating environment, ---------, can we bring goods from outside, that’s a big problem, that’s a big question actually. Next slide please.
So before you start, you know, before you start getting into the social sector, there are three things that are very important. When I was working in Bihar and I had to go to this place, this place was struck by floods. So I went by road, then walked down, then took the road, then walked down again then reached this place where there was no electricity. And all we were there to do is tell them to give polio drops to their children and these women were telling me you know what, agey se ----------, so in that situation, you know in that situation, how do you create flexibility. And as a social enterprise, what is the problem is very critical, is it a global agenda? What is it something that you see as a social entrepreneur? That’s a message.
Is the solution easy as I said, you know, are we trying to create a bigger problem, which to us is an easy concept, but to people it is very complicated. Am I trying to create a product that would further complicate the problem, instead of creating ------? And one of the examples can be social and positive events. So what positive event does is, you basically look at what is already happening in the community and you see how problems are being solved. ----------- because in every community there will be one or two people who are trying to solve the problem in a much more economical way, than anyone else is doing. So like water harvesting, it came, as you know water harvesting is a big thing now, but earlier theory was there was this big ----- in communities . So you have to look back and see what easier solutions were there, innovate that, but what is the easier way of solving, get to that.
Design is okay, I have an economic product, how do you distribute it? It is very important for us as social entrepreneurs to invest our energy into behaviour change, distribution channels, marketing, communication. That’s equally important. Now as I say, how am I integrating technology? Now technology integration is very important in the current environment. How do I? Generally to expand my organization or to scale my solutions? And what is my core value? Am I keeping my participants involved in to the whole process? And that’s a big thing because what happens is , solutions......