Kids As Social Entrepreneurs?

Kids changing the world… one act at a time.

More and more, kids are wanting to have a positive impact in the world. They are taking action and mobilizing other kids to address problems from infant mortality in developing nations to neighbourhood concerns. They are donating to charities, volunteering to help others and even engaging in social entrepreneurship. They are taking the passion they feel about a cause and undertaking a business-like activity that earns money (or provides other resources) to support that cause.

Alex Scott, for example, was four years old and battling cancer when she started a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research. After a year, she had raised $2,000. By the time she was eight, she had raised $1 million through the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Many kids like Alex are motivated to pursue a social entrepreneurial activity because they’ve been touched by something serious or significant and are moved to take action. They have had a personal experience with the problem. More often than not, though, these children would be hard pressed to pursue social entrepreneurship without the support and guidance of an adult. Continue reading “Kids As Social Entrepreneurs?” »

Teaching Children Empathy

In my previous post, I outlined Ashoka’s new Empathy Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs and the importance of teaching empathy to children.

How do we help children learn the valuable skill of empathy?

1. Model Empathy

The most powerful learning tool for children is modelling these behaviours they see their parents doing. The more we model empathy and are aware of the needs of others, the more likely our children will exhibit similar behaviours. Likewise, we need to be empathetic towards our children and they will see this an model it in their relationships. Continue reading “Teaching Children Empathy” »

What Will Your Legacy Be?

Last year, someone very close to me passed away following a long fight with cancer. After the funeral, I  started to think about what I would like to be remembered for. Would it be that I loved and served God? Would it be that I was a good wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend? Maybe,  it would be that I was a good cook and hospitable. I might be remembered for the charity work I am doing with Empower 4 Life, that I hope will eventually change the lives of hundreds.

Yes, I would like to be remembered for all these things, but I also would like to be remembered for giving the gift of life to hundreds of at-risk, malnourished children all over the world through my social entrepreneurial project. Continue reading “What Will Your Legacy Be?” »

Malnutrition Solution Through Social Entrepreneurship

THE PROBLEM

A key to the ultimate success of social entrepreneurship is the creation of an innovative new technology for solving an existing global problem. As the lack of proper nutrition has become epidemic in both industrialized and developing countries, the supplementation of essential nutrients has become a critical strategy for protecting health.

The problem is that although there have been major relief efforts for decades now focusing on alleviating starvation and hunger, new evidence shows that this strategy is doing little to reduce the growing incidence of malnutrition in third-world countries.

New research is also indicating that only 1% of the population are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for proper nutrition and health.

Until recently, synthetically made vitamins and inorganic minerals have provided the only source for standardized levels of these essential nutrients. Synthetic vitamins are made from coal tar or petroleum; and due to their low cost they are the primary choice of manufacturers of both nutritional supplements and enriched foods. Inorganic minerals, either mined or by-products of a chemical process, also provide an inexpensive source for supplementation, but do not have the solubility of minerals found in food.

Fruits and vegetables make vitamins in their tissues and then bond them to various minerals, fats, polysaccharides, amino acids and other vital Phytochemicals to create what is called a food matrix. Minerals become more soluble in food and this matrix of nutrients provides the co-factors required by the body for the proper absorption and utilization of all essential nutrients. It has become clear that the human body was designed to obtain its nutritional requirements from food. Continue reading “Malnutrition Solution Through Social Entrepreneurship” »

Social Entrepreneurs Are Ordinary People Who Dare To Dream

Remember when you thought anything was possible? Remember when you were a child and you dreamed of big things and big adventures? When did we forget how to dream, why did we settle for less?

Social Entrepreneurs are not extraordinary people…in fact most of them are quite ordinary but they all are big dreamers. Dreams give us hope and pave the way for the future. Social entrepreneurs are passionate about seeing change and see things as they should be, not as they are. They believe anything is possible. It is this belief that makes things happen. Continue reading “Social Entrepreneurs Are Ordinary People Who Dare To Dream” »

Is Social Entrepreneurship For You?

The Challenges Social Entrepreneurs Face
The problems that social entrepreneurs face can be similar to the problems their counterparts in the business world face when it comes to the challenges of starting, running and sustaining a business. Before entering a market with a new business idea, a social entrepreneur should have a clear understanding of the problems and issues they may face so that they can make informed decisions. For an entrepreneur, success or failure is mainly determined by the profits the business makes. This applies to social entrepreneurs but they also need to determine success based on the social impact they have.

Motivation has long term effects. Why you do something often determines how and how well you end up doing it. Continue reading “Is Social Entrepreneurship For You?” »

Cultivating Public Compassion

 

Social Entrepreneurs need to be able to tap into Public Compassion for their cause. 

You may have the best solution for a major problem, you may have done all the groundwork to establishing your social entrepreneurial project but unless you are able to harness the public compassion for the cause you will find it very hard to implement change. Your success rests in part on tapping into the public capacity for compassion and strategically contributing to that capacity. As Social Entrepreneurs we need to think about the social environment in which our social entrepreneurship takes place.

Social Entrepreneurship is often about pulling off a complex and challenging social project or program.Today’s problems are so widespread and pervasive that they require public participation in their solutions.

For example, when I talk about the statistics of one child dying every 6 seconds from Malnutrition, I focus on the one child not the statistics. This motivates me to want to be the catalyst for change. What I need to do is connect into the public compassion and help them focus on the one child too otherwise it will just be another statistic for them. Being compassionate, in this case, is not about doing a good or nice thing, it is about life and death. Continue reading “Cultivating Public Compassion” »

What Can We Learn From Successful Social Entrepreneurial Movements?

The Skills And Knowledge We Can Gain Through Connecting With Social Entrepreneurial Organisations.

In my previous post, Is Social Entrepreneurship For You?, I wrote about some of the challenges that we will face as social entrepreneurs and made the recommendation that if you are not sure about starting a social enterprise or you would like to learn some more skills, then the best thing is to join an already established social entrepreneurial project. I am going to expand on what we can learn and the skills we can gain from teaming with social entrepreneurial organisations.

When answering the question of “Where should social entrepreneurs begin?”, David Bornstein, the author of  “How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas”  had this to say: ” Before starting out on their own, they often work in jobs that teach them how a particular type of business or industry operates. They usually work for several years in a particular field, profession or organization, acquiring the knowledge, skills and contacts that enable them to branch out on their own.” Continue reading “What Can We Learn From Successful Social Entrepreneurial Movements?” »

Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative For Social Entrepreneurs

Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. This is from Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative: “Empathy. We don’t hear the term every day, but Ashoka Fellows over the past thirty years have shown time and again that there is no practice more fundamental to the human experience and no skill closer to the heart of what it means to be a changemaker. Its presence–and as profoundly, its absence–can be seen amongst the myriad challenges that populate our daily headlines, whether school bullying, ethnic conflict, crime, or the global preparedness of tomorrow’s workforce.”

In response to this, Ashoka is launching an initiative aimed a teaching children empathy and changing the way the education system is run by making empathy as much of a priority as Maths or English. They are aiming to equip principals, teachers and parents with the tools and resources they need to effectively grow and develop empathy in children and young people. Continue reading “Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative For Social Entrepreneurs” »

Social Entrepreneurs Have The Key To Happiness

Many people search for happiness, there are websites dedicated to happiness, there is coaching on happiness and there are books and courses on happiness. Millions of dollars are spent in the pursuit of happiness so why is it that so many people still seem unhappy? I often hear people say “I just want to be happy” or “I’m not happy”. We try to find happiness in material possessions, wealth or experiences…”If only I could go on a holiday I would be happy”. The problem with these things is that they can only bring temporary happiness. I believe social entrepreneurs have found the key to happiness.

So what is this illusive thing called happiness and how do we get it? Continue reading “Social Entrepreneurs Have The Key To Happiness” »