Social Entrepreneurship For Sustainable Development

Social Entrepreneurship For Sustainable Development

It is always said that profit motive and poverty alleviation do not mix. We cannot talk about helping the poor and at the same time trying to make a profit out of it. But social entrepreneurship is changing that way of thinking. It is a poverty alleviation initiative that can be shared by the private and business sectors and the community members. This business endeavor has the potential to expand the economic earning opportunity of the community which in turn would be a great benefit to the poor and the community they live in. We need to encourage private and business sectors to be involved beyond their Corporate Social Responsibility projects because we need long term partnerships in rebuilding communities. These sectors have the resources, technology, and training among other things that poor communities lack.

Even though social entrepreneurship is making waves all over the world, it is still a young field of endeavor in our country, often introduced by foreign development workers who are determined to be agents of change through innovation. We can learn a lot from these change-makers and hopefully, raise awareness to more people about the importance of social entrepreneurship.

Social entrepreneurship encompasses different business endeavors aiming to have social impact. It is the product of any individual, organizational, or network activity that demonstrates some element of sociality, innovation, and market orientation, irrespective of its legal form (charity, business), resource strategy (for profit, not for profit, voluntary sector) or sectoral home (public, private, or civil society). Social entrepreneurship is an eclectic mix of business, charity and social movement models designed to offer solutions to social problems.

Even though social entrepreneurship is a relatively new movement, there are already efforts to widen its scope. There are international organizations that are committed to innovate and to be change-makers in response to the most urgent social problems of the world and work towards sustainable development.

Profiles Of Women Involved In Aellon: The Story Of The Invisible Sisters

Aellon works with the Invisible Sisters, a women’s group that crochets plastic bags into bags, home designs, accessories, and other products. Here are their stories on how this project has helped improve their lives.

Elizabeth is a widow and a mother to 4 children. She busies herself with crocheting and she is the leader of the women’s group in their community. She is also involved in different organizations. She is grateful to Invisible Sisters for teaching her the value of caring for the environment. She can do that through crocheting plastic bags and making them into bags and other accessories. She says the money that she earns helps in meeting the daily needs of her family and it is sustainable. She has many dreams but mainly, she wants to have her own business to support her family.

Erlinda is one of the more experienced members in the group when it comes to crocheting. She is a nursing aide by profession but she spends her time crocheting and doing reflexology. She and her husband have 4 children – 2 are married and 2 are working. At this stage in her life, she still has many dreams for their future – to travel to other countries, have her own business, and improve their house. She says Invisible Sisters supports them financially, it’s just a matter of working faster to earn more. She is also proud of the crafts that she makes and she also takes pride in being able to teach other women how to crochet plastic bags so that they can earn money too.

Sharon is a widow with 9 children. Crocheting plastic bags is her only source of income. Fortunately, most of her children are already working and only 2 are still in school. She also receives assistance from the government for their education. She dreams of improving their house, seeing her children graduate, and getting more projects from Invisible Sisters. She says the organization has been a big help in helping her meet the needs of her family.

Finding A Gem Amidst The Storm

Finding A Gem Amidst The Storm

It had been years since heavy typhoons devastated the community of Barangay Pinaglapatan in Infanta, Quezon – a far-flung town in the Philippines. Since then, the community underwent the arduous process of rehabilitation to rebuild their lives. Hundreds of families lost their homes and belongings during the disaster that was why it had been a challenge for them to get back on with their lives.

As disaster struck the community, there was also an outpouring of support from government and non-government organizations. Different groups extended their assistance by giving relief goods, medical help, and construction materials for damaged houses. Later on, some humanitarian groups focused on the issue of health, livelihood, education, and spiritual formation to help the people get back on their feet.

When the typhoons struck the community, floodwaters rose rapidly, carrying mud, debris, and logs that engulfed the community. This caused deaths and damages to properties. However, amidst this disaster, one humanitarian organization found a way to be able to help community members get back on their feet by turning the hundreds or thousands of logs into different pieces of furniture. They taught the men and women basic carpentry and wood carving skills to be able to turn the logs into beautiful tables, chairs, bookcases, plant stand, bed frames, and other things. They also helped the people by funding the equipment that they needed for turning the logs into furniture. Lastly, they also found a way to market these furniture pieces so that the community members could earn money after selling them.

Each piece of furniture relays the story of the family that was affected by that disaster and their efforts to get back on their feet after the tragedy. Each piece of furniture that was sold strengthened their spirit and gave them hope.