Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Social Entrepreneurship in India : Challenge or Solution

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In broader terms poverty ($2 per day per person) is omnipresent. Nearly, half the world’s population (over 3 billion people) lives under poverty line. In India alone, over two-thirds of its one billion plus population is covered under the definition of poverty. Yet, the strategy for alleviating poverty across globe is reformed but practically every developing nation has remained more or less to same.

Various initiatives taken by Govt and philanthropists are not sufficient for India in overall leveraging the quality of life of the underprivileged and disadvantaged community. Philanthropy is taught as a moral value and a large scale requirement in our community increase its demand. But, it is more required as social entrepreneurship not as a charity. It has been found in various researches that social entrepreneurship is the key element for the advanced and developed community and society in addressing the social needs. Since, Govt can’t target and successfully solve all the community challenges, the demand for various social entrepreneurs increases multi-fold.

India has given birth to some of the most advanced and innovative social entrepreneurs. They have developed few innovative and cost effective models which are used world wide. For e.g Child Help line 1098. They are present every where and are into every area of problems. But, because of their willingness to work quietly they are not well recognised.

Advantages of social entrepreneurs are as they work on the grass root level, they know the immediate needs of the community and they also work with the cultural boundaries of the community and hence, they are most acceptable. Now a day NGO are developing business model with triple bottom line of Profit, People and Planet to make there efforts sustainable and reachable to maximum. In other words, social entrepreneurs are linkage between the Govt initiatives and philanthropy. Social Entrepreneurship not only brings social change but create jobs and generate income to carry forward the further activities at different level and scale. Various initiatives like AMUL India, Aravind Eye Hospital, Barefoot College and SEWA are few renowned examples in social sector, but they are few. To cater the Indian population we may need thousands of other Social entrepreneurs who can solve thousands of other existing problems in health, child education and literacy, employment and disability etc areas. For eliminating such problems India needs stronger vision and Entrepreneurial approach.

In recent studies, it is found that India has more NGO’s per capita than other developing countries, but still few of these operating NGO’s have entrepreneurial approach. Lack of proper information, management and collaboration with other NGO’s lead to poor social impact. Transparency and lack of Funds also contribute to failure in generating good results.

Few B Schools like ISB, Hyderabad and TISS, Mumbai have included Social entrepreneurship study in their curriculum to impart better understanding and knowledge about social change.
As India is moving ahead in economic development, citizen sector can contribute a lot at grass root level to build a better base and improving the quality of life.