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” »

Social Entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie

Social Entrepreneur – Blake Mycoskie

Social Entrepreneur Blake MycoskieBlake Mycoskie is a social entrepreneur who founded TOMS Shoes, the company that would match every pair purchased with a new pair given to a child in need. One for One. In September 2010, Blake returned to Argentina, where he was first inspired to start TOMS, to celebrate the one-millionth pair of new shoes given to a child in need.

After five years of giving shoes, Blake was ready to address another need: vision. On June 7, 2011, TOMS debuted One for One Eyewear, which provides eye treatment, prescription glasses or eye surgery with every pair purchased.

Former President Bill Clinton has introduced Blake as “one of the most interesting entrepreneurs [he has] ever met.” And Bill Gates featured Blake and TOMS Shoes in his Time magazine article, “How to Fix Capitalism.”

START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS Social Entrepreneur, Start Something that Matters, Blake Mycoskie

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” »

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” »

The Go-Giver Law 2: The Law Of Compensation

The second law, I believe,  is very applicable for social entrepreneurs because it gives us the principle to help us position our social entrepreneurship to be more sustainable and have the greatest impact.

In my post, The Go-Giver Law 1: The Law Of Compensation, I used the example from my business intentionally rather than from the Charities and Not-for-Profit Organisations I have been involved with. As social entrepreneurs, you most likely “give more in value than you take in payment” as part of a way of life. Social Entrepreneurs tend to be givers instinctively and have a strong sense of social responsibility, empathy and compassion. It is these three traits that move us into action to see change but it is the next law that will help us bring change on a bigger scale and be financially rewarded in the process.

The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. Continue reading “The Go-Giver Law 2: The Law Of Compensation” »

Mindset Shift

Social Entrepreneurs are changing the minds of people all over the world.

In describing the causes of poverty, Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, has often compared a poor person to a bonsai tree. The seed of a bonsai has the potential to grow into a full-size tree, but, planted in a tiny pot, its growth is stunted. To Yunus, a person deprived of education or opportunity is like a bonsai. Continue reading “Mindset Shift” »