The world is faced with a great deal of social challenges. As you read this article, the latest reported figure by the World Bank of global population living under the poverty line is 902 million people, and it is projected to fall to 702 million during early 2016. There are a number of factors that contribute to the progress in these numbers; one largely being the sum of efforts among countries committed to the Millennial Development Goals and Beyond. Nevertheless, not only is public policy accountable for laying the groundwork for a better future, there is another very important factor: social entrepreneurship.
This fact has not gone unnoticed by the UN. In 2011, the UN created the Global Entrepreneurs Council, which is responsible for promoting social entrepreneurship programs around the world. The Council partners with global influencers and leaders in order to promote, and support sustainable social entrepreneurship.
With the UN as an inspirational trail blazer, smaller programs have popped up all over the globe. Jolkona is one of these programs. Located in Seattle, Washington, Jolkona invites social entrepreneurs from developing nations to come to Seattle for a three-week catalyst program. These entrepreneurs are solving some of the most challenging societal issues in their communities. Jolkona helps shape & develop these founders into leaders by providing business & leadership training and mentorship by some of Seattle’s best talent who prepare these founders to scale & engage with investors at home & abroad.
Social Entrepreneurship: The Power of Collaboration & Technology
Small and large programs from around the planet help educate local entrepreneurs to make a difference in their community. Take our Fall 2014 Catalyst Program members‘ projects for example. One of them, Bedah Campus pioneered by Candra Cahyani Gani from Indonesia, aims to bring higher online education programs to remote areas of the country. Candra is in fact empowering children and youth through technology. The key to her success, and that of all other entrepreneurs wanting to make a dent, is to leverage both technology and collaboration.
Through technology programs and people can reach far beyond their geographical region. In addition, if they partner with one another, their impact will not only be greater, but also sustainable. In fact, these two factors are part of the 5 powerful ideas for global impact promoted by the World Economic Forum.
With these two key factors, programs such as Friends-International from Cambodia, have found cooperation in 11 countries. The program’s collaborators have turned the program into social businesses that now sustain 40% of the program’s expenses. In other words, the program is almost sustainable on its own, and it is getting to full sustainability.
Social entrepreneurs build sustainable ventures
It’s not just about helping the people in need. It is also about empowering them and giving them a fighting chance to develop their own personal, local and national economies.
“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime”
By: Rocío del Moral