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Showing posts from October, 2016

The problem with the definition of "social entrepreneurship"

I was excited to see that LeadSA and the Bertha Centre have setup a podcast series around Social Entrepreneurship - Social Enterprise 101 (iTunes). There is precious little content around this space in South Africa. This is a quality production and I'm looking forward to working through it.

The very first episode got me into debate mode within the first 5 minutes. You see, I have a problem with the traditional/academic definition of "social entrepreneurship" - and as usual, it's all about the money.

In the intro, the hosts (Sibongile Mafu and Bame Modungwa) specifically define a social enterprise as an entrepreneurial venture with a social mission - where all profits are funneled back into the business to further the social mission.

I have a number of problems with this definition.

Change the Model
Can we agree that existing models are broken? Pure charity is broken - it's mostly providing symptomatic relief. The problems it's trying to solve are still there. …

Going beyond the volunteer bus - a new approach to corporate employee volunteering programmes...

A lot of what we're trying to do with forgood is change behavior on both sides of the social sector. What can be improved about volunteering? How can volunteers create more impact? How do we match volunteer skills to the right kind of projects (moving away from painting walls and planting gardens)? How can technology help Causes (charities) use volunteers and crowd-sourced resources to create more meaningful impact? How can technology create impact through scale in the social sector?

Part of this is re-thinking the approach to corporate volunteering. There's a lot of human capital that lies untapped inside corporates across South Africa.

Here's a little release around that.

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Going beyond the volunteer bus.

The heyday of bundling staff into a bus to paint an underprivileged school to fulfill Corporate Social Investment (CSI) targets is starting to fizzle out. Customers and investors want to see real impact – and employees are increasingly concerned with social pur…