The landscape of our entrepreneurial ecosystem mandates change in our approach to guiding our nation through unfamiliar waters of development. This calls for the introduction of social entrepreneurship. Business entities with a social mandate.
Today’s critical questions facing our economic agents include: how can we better adapt on an ongoing basis to the changing array of ever increasing social problems? Some of the problems at the core are deepening food insecurities, unemployment and education inflation.
David Bornstein and Susan Davis on their book – Social Entrepreneurship, maintain that “because of the size of global population, the pace of change, the spread of technology, the urgency of financial, health, and environmental crisis, as well as the interdependence that has collapsed boundaries, our response time must quicken.”
They add that we must anticipate problems, attack them at their sources before they grow and multiply. We must also continually invent new solutions as conditions change.
They further assert that the emergence of citizen sector and social entrepreneurship are an adaptation to the changing demands of the global environment, a departure from top-down, centralized problem-solving model that dominated the past century.
According to David and Susan, we’re to favor an integrated, decentralized approach that harnesses the efforts of creative problem solvers far and wide.
Lesotho let’s face it. It will require a variety of creative solution providers to bring about change that’ll pave way for economic development.
It will take the forward-thinkers who pioneer new ideas and institutions, those modifying existing ones, a larger proportion of those who collaborate and build those institutions directly. As well as a rather bigger number of those supporting those ideas in their various categories.
The government was thought of as the main employer and initiator of job opportunities, but gone are those days. Unless a great majority of us, most notably the youth, are economically minded and commercialize our talents and abilities, our nation isn’t going anywhere.
There has to be a dynamic shift into building sustainable, high impact social enterprises that will help in sucking a great majority into economic activity and benefit.
At its core, social entrepreneurship seeks to forge stronger linkages particularly with business and government, and facilitates rapid circulation and sharing of solutions at the global level.
Aren’t we all witnesses to this fact: our government with international aid efforts has up to this point met limited success? So all of us can, to some degree, agree on one thing. Thus we seriously need to think differently in terms of economic involvement if we’re ever going to better our nation.
While traditional policy has become a hindrance to entrepreneurial dynamism, here’s what I propose as a way forward. These are not the ‘either or’ cases, rather they are complementary to each other.
We need to navigate and influence our existing social service production systems
To come out of pervasive poverty we need to find ways of introducing a growing cadre of economic agents that will replace traditional policy with creative solutions and private-public sector partnerships to produce dramatic results.
We’re forced to divorce the social service model dominated by top-down approaches with prescriptive government funding. We need to advocate for redefining of corporate social responsibility, as it is seen to have helped the accelerate development in a number of nations.
We need active policymakers to drive for an entrepreneurial ecosystem
Policymakers should perhaps start thinking of creating the innovative space that will leverage responses from other actors in our social service systems. Cesar L. & Calum G. in their book – Innovation and entrepreneurship in rural communities: Early business survival challenges for the Agribusiness Entrepreneur, propose the following pillars meant to support policies within the entrepreneurial ecosystem:
- Entrepreneurship education and training,
- Policy fostering the creation of business networks linking entrepreneurs to suppliers and capital resources,
- Policy ensuring access to capital, and
- Infrastructure and institutional support which are critical in programs based on entrepreneurship.
Notably, reliance on entrepreneurship is becoming a matter of public policy to reviving rural and underdeveloped economies.