By Amanda Blankfield-Koseff
During Global Entrepreneurship Week, let’s take a look at another type of entrepreneurship – social entrepreneurship. Perhaps it is easier to explain the differences between the two by giving an example. An entrepreneur will want to start a business in order to make a profit. The aim, therefore, is to create or source a product or service that will be purchased by consumers or clients at a high enough volume to cover costs and leave enough profit to benefit the owners of the company and their families directly and when they employ staff, they will receive remuneration too. Social entrepreneurship has the focus of making a positive change in society by filling a gap, helping to solve a problem or alleviating a challenge that affects people in the community, city or country.
The secondary aim is to make a profit, which will also usually have a percentage being reinvested in the social enterprise to make more positive changes. The profit is also used to pay salaries to the CEO and staff but at a level that does not make a huge distinction between the top of the hierarchy and the bottom like most large organisations do.
[WATCH] This week marks Global Entrepreneurship week, @davidosullie chats to social entrepreneur Amanda Blankfield-Kossef about opportunities in socia entrepreneurship and on her organization Empowervate that looks at youth development #BreakfastWithDavid pic.twitter.com/FjUO4XtqRb
— Kaya 959 Talk (@KayaFMTalk) November 13, 2018
The social consciousness makes it important for there not to be a monumental difference in salary between the lowest paid employee and the CEO. Social enterprises usually run as NPCs, Trusts or even Private companies. Some Non-profit organizations are converting to a hybrid model where their private company services fund their non-profit operations. It does not work for all NPOs, especially those in the welfare and abuse space, but many “charities” are moving to this model by adding products and services that they can make a profit from to run their organisations instead of relying strictly on donor funding.
T.O.M.S Shoes is an international example of a private company that had a social entrepreneurial model – for each pair of shoes purchased, a pair of shoes was donated to a needy child. By changing the focus from pure capitalism to social impact with profit, we can change our country and the world for the better.
Success Stories from Y-CAP
Isolomzi Senior Secondary School’s Grade 10 Y-CAP team from Kentani Village, near Butterworth in the Eastern Cape embarked on a faction fighting awareness project in 2014. They managed to get the police to give some community members community police rights to confiscate weapons. They also did door-to-door visits and gatherings to stop the tribal fighting. Their success was confirmed by the police and the community members who say that the problem was dealt with to such an extent that it is not a challenge anymore.
Postmasburg Secondary School’s Grade 10 learners in the Y-CAP team in the Northern Cape decided that the graveyard next to their school was becoming a negative space where drugs were being sold and used, sexual advances were being made on learners and the gravestones were being vandalized. They decided that a fence needed to be built. The municipality said it was not high on their list of priorities and so they decided to do it themselves in 2015. They managed to raise R80,000 in money and donations-in-kind from creative fundraising initiatives such as vetkoek sales, working as servers at Spur, asking for equipment, material and labour donations as well as getting the families of those buried in the graveyard to contribute and they erected the fence with a sign on it saying it was a Y-CAP project and listing the names and companies of the contributors. It was a proud accomplishment and they will continue to maintain the fence for years to come.
Written by Amanda Blankfield-Koseff, Founder and CEO of Empowervate Trust. Her interests include empowering and motivating the next generation of active citizens and social entrepreneurs, singing, songwriting, photography, running, nature and travel.