This post is a contribution from our very first school intern, Yosef who spent 3 days with us at the CRCLR House to learn about social entrepreneurship.
The first difference between a social business and a normal company is that a social entrepreneurship is focusing on the social aspect of their work and not just on the profit.
The other one is that the investors are getting back their money, but without an interest. They are also trying to fix bad, but simple problems in the world just like unequal access to drinking water long term.
The word social entrepreneurship explains new founded organisations and social businesses without a corporate interest behind them. I think it’s really cool that some people try to help others with their ideas, and don’t just profit for themselves.
Social entrepreneurs are really important for people in distress or without a perspective to get out of a vicious circle. Here’s an example: When people don’t get money, they can’t buy food. Without something to eat they’re getting weak, so they can’t work, but if they can’t work they won’t get money and this is a continuous circle which is really bad. The organisation of the Nobel Peace Price winner Prof. Muhammad Yunus founded the Grameen Bank with the concept of microcredit and micro finances. If someone who is in this spiral as described above would get one of these micro credits, the entire vicious circle would turn into an upward spiral. With the credit one could start their own business and get their own money. This person could buy themselves some food and feed their children and family. The circle would change completely and one day one could pay back the credit.
Here are some social entrepreneurs and firms with the concept:
1. Grameen Bank
Founded: 1983 by Prof. Muhammad Yunus
Headquarter: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Concept: Mini credits and mini finances
Problem they want to fix: Poverty
Founded: 2006 by Scott Harrison
Headquarter: New York City, New York, USA
Concept: cleaning the water in developing countries
Problem they want to fix: Access to clean water
Founded: 2006 by Blake Mycoskie
Headquarter: Santa Monica, California, USA
Concept: With every sold shoe in the USA, a child in some developing countries is getting one for free
Problem they want to fix: Everyone should have something to wear.
Founded: 2009 by Paul Bethke
Concept: They are selling lemonade and ice tea and spending the profit to the country of manufacture
Problem they want to fix: Access to education
After he finished college, he had the idea to open a company which is going against all the problems in the developing countries like hunger, no education and poverty. started building a big network of investors. Famous and rich people like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg supported the project and after 7 Years Teju collected over $155 Million US Dollars. With the money they built schools, fountains and bought Plumpynut. It was a big risk for Tegu, but they made it and helped a lot of people and children.
Before I started the internship I didn’t know anything about social entrepreneurship. After the three days at CRCLR I learned that with a social business you can help others and yourself. I think it’s cooler to use a big profit to try and make other people’s lives better and not just to make your own life more luxurious.