“When the spirit of entrepreneurship takes a social path, driven not only by the mantra of profit maximization but also by a willingness to contribute to the welfare of the community, it generates not only income for those involved but improves the humanity, a win-win situation that best defines social entrepreneurship”
By Simone Galiberti
This piece celebrates special ventures, a set of initiatives with different objectives and of diverse nature, but all united under the unique banner of social change, all inspired to offer sustainable solutions to common problems faced by Nepalis.
Subarna Chitrakar with the Sungava Intellectually Challenged Women’s Vocational Training Centre has the bold vision of teaching girls with learning difficulties skills to be more confident and self-reliant--a chance to earn income through production of handicrafts, works of art and garments.
Khom Raj with Inclusion Empowerment Center (IEC) Nepal provides employable and personality development trainings to blind and visually impaired in order to enhance their quality of life, build their confidence, and train them to be productive citizens. Swasulav is a venture promoted by Birendra Joshi that is developing an innovative micro-service model to bring health services to all, regardless of their financial and ethnic backgrounds.
Lekhnath Sapkota with Fulchowki Dairy Farm finds new ways to increase milk production in the country, drastically reducing the milk dependency from neighbouring countries.
The people behind these inspiring stories can be considered innovators and change makers, people who do not complain about the sorry status of the society but actively pursue an alternative path, the path of transformation through social entrepreneurship. The ultimate message is that innovative ideas can be sustainable and scalable, profoundly and deeply transforming our lives.
This is a special week for those who dare to think outside the box as the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), an initiative promoted by the Kauffman Foundation (GEW), is being celebrated all around the world. Over 40,000 events are planned, with millions of people striving to “bring ideas to life, drive economic development and expand human welfare”.
When the spirit of entrepreneurship takes a social path, driven not only by the mantra of profit maximization but also by a willingness to contribute to the welfare of the community, it generates not only income for those involved but improves the humanity, a win-win situation that best defines social entrepreneurship.
Incredibly, Nepal, for once, is a front runner in social entrepreneurship movement, thanks to the passion and dedication of a small group of people working at Change Fusion Nepal, the star social entrepreneurship promoting organization in Nepal.
This week, Change Fusion Nepal under the leadership of Luna Thakur Shrestha, is teaming up with Nepal Business Initiative and others to organize the first ever Social Entrepreneurship Award with the financial support of Surya Nepal. A social entrepreneurship bazaar is also being held from Nov 18-19 where Subarna, Khom, Birendra, Lekhnath and many more will showcase their talent and passion for change.
Their presentations will offer practical, hands-on solutions to a vast array of problem--healthcare hurdles, disability, rural electricity, waste management and ICT, to name a few. Besides this fantastic “road show” of innovation and inspiration, the celebrations will offer a variety of trainings and seminars from experts and spin doctors of social innovation. They will all be making a strong case for a stronger social entrepreneurship movement in Nepal.
But how do you imbibe the spirit of social entrepreneurship? First of all you need funding, matched by mentoring, coaching efforts through social venture like Change Fusion which is always ready to step in to support promising ideas. Unfortunately, not much has been done by the traditional aid industry in Nepal to embrace the spirit of social entrepreneurship, but, hopefully, events like Social Entrepreneurship Award will break this trend and lead to more ventures and resources to build up a robust social innovation movement in Nepal.
In order to become social entrepreneurs, you need a set of skills, expertise and hands-on learning, but that’s not enough. First, you have to use the power of your imagination, thinking the unthinkable, shifting your way of looking at the problems to a goal-oriented approach. A problem can also be seen as an unexplored opportunity that if picked up, nourished and supported through experimentation and piloting, can offer a meaningful breakthrough.
You also need to live up to the rules of the 3Cs: be consistent, committed and courageous. Without the 3Cs, you can be a technical expert, you can be an incredible thinker but you will never be able to surf the wave of change. You also need to be patient, waiting for the right time, the right conditions but then, ultimately, you need to jump into the ocean and challenge the unforeseeable: the wave might overwhelm you, you might be drowned but you won’t be knocked down.
Luna, her amazing team and the organizers of Social Entrepreneurship Award are proving that promoting change is possible and achievable. You just need to believe it and give it your all. I am sure if more people were able to think and live this way, the world would be a far better place.
Welcome to the club of social changers. “No one knows what he can do till he tries” is my message to all of you interested in social entrepreneurship, where change is possible and within reach. Believe it. Luna and friends do.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Nepali Samaj UK’s editorial policy.