Social Entrepreneurship

social-entrepreneurshipSocial Entrepreneurship is an altruistic form of entrepreneurship that focuses on the benefits that society may reap. They are not doing charity infact they are against charity. Charity is just a way to shrugg off our responsibilty. Charity appeases our consciences. A normal entrepreneur would only be a part of the big industry but a social entrepreneur would revolutionise the industry for better. Its the impact that he makes on the society as a whole which makes him distinct from everyone else.

Talking about the birth of such organisation on our very own land :

Amul – Founded in 1946, Amul was established initially as a reaction to unfair milk trade practices in India, inspiring local and marginalized farmers to form cooperatives independent from trade cartels. With the notable help of Tribhuvandas Patel and Verghese Kurien, the Amul cooperative model became so successful that it was eventually replicated all over India in 1965.

Amul has since:

  • Produced excellent value for money food products for customers.
  • Created a lucrative source of income for local dairy farmers in India.

An idea is just like a good script that is ready to be made into a movie. But without a good producer or a director it cannot be made into a movie or may never open to good audience even if it is a masterpiece. Similarly an idea may not move from fringes to mainstream only if its good. It should change people’s perception towards itself. That is where Social Entrepreneurs come into play. They can never compromise on 3P’s Purpose,Process and Principles. As Mahatma Gandhi said that poverty is the worst form of violence. It cannot be eradicated by a mere charity. You cannot eradicate poverty by giving food to a poor but by making him learn the way to earn that food by himself.

It was November 2015. Three IIT Bombay graduates, after four months of brainstorming over different ideas along which they wished to start their social enterprise, went out for a walk to narrow things down. Frustrated by the lack of easy options, one of them exclaimed that “Doing good should be as easy as going for a walk.” It is this ease of doing good which led to the eventual birth of ImpactRun. The team created what it calls a ‘fitness philanthropy app’, where anyone can raise funds for a cause by simply jogging or walking on the app.The three engineers, Ishan Nadkarni (27), Piyush Nagle (25), and Nikhil Khandelwal (26) were soon joined by a fourth friend, Gaurav Mehra (26). They also had in-house inspiration in their cook Akash Nautiyal (21) who never studied after the tenth grade.“We saw that Akash took a lot of interest in coding. Even while cooking or cleaning the house, he used to stare at our screens, trying to understand what we were doing,” recalls a visibly proud Piyush, ImpactRun’s tech co-founder. With the app, a user’s runs or walks simply convert into funds for non-profit organisations. But the money does not come from the pocket of the user. They tap the Corporate Social Responsibility market here.The ImpactRun team partners with corporates and non-profits and creates causes for users to run or walk for. The corporate sponsors then raise the funds from their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets corresponding to the distance covered for that cause. Non-profits use these funds to create impact at the grassroots level.

The CSR market in India currently stands at a whopping Rs 8,000 crore and the government plans to get this up to Rs 20,000 crore by 2020. A heavily underutilized and opaque market, a recent study concluded that only 18 percent of companies fulfil the CSR mandate in India.Since most corporates do not know how best to utilise their budget, India’s CSR sector is heavily run by brokers who are not necessarily transparent in their process. Ishan, ImpactRun’s co-founder says, “These brokers enjoy a huge matchmaking fee, at times even 70 percent from both corporates and non-profits. The CSR market is waiting to be disrupted by technology.” In doing so, the social enterprise is also helping get transparency and trust back into the sector.A win-win situation for them. This is what a young mind when given the right resouces and support can do in our country.

Social Entrepreneurship is the step towards future and sustainable development for the betterment of society on a whole. It’s the right way to bridge the gap of social inequality prevailing in the world on a whole…..

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Pratyush Chhatwal

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