ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION

Currently we live a confusing work period, in which the solution to opt for a paid work seems to be through self-employment. In recent times, the words entrepreneur and/or entrepreneurship seem to be trendy; it is the same way to say, to start-up a business project. But recently, this has taken a 180-degree turn, as more and more people choose to undertake an activity but also to generate social benefits and/or environmental improvements in their direct territory. I was recently asked, “How do you see yourself in a future in your work?” My response was overwhelming, and without needing to think too much, perhaps in a utopian way, but convinced of it, I replied: “Transforming the world.”

I was recently asked, “How do you see yourself in a future in your work?” My response was overwhelming, and without needing to think too much, perhaps in a utopian way, but convinced of it, I replied: “Transforming the world.”

There is a growing number of companies that want to be sustainable, and this will only be achieved by working directly with people: customers, society, employees or, suppliers, among others. At the end, companies that are struggling for a social change are sustainable companies, understanding this as the threefold result: economic, social and environmental. What do we want people who are dedicated to the so-called “social or sustainable enterprise?” We want that with our services, products or activities, we achieve a fairer and more equitable environment, where there are opportunities for everyone, integrating all social groups, but also promoting ambitious measures that support an environmental protection and the fight against climate change.

Very nice and very utopian… but is this real or are you an NGDO? Yes, this is real, and nobody working in social entrepreneurship are an ONGD’s. Although we must recognize that it is harder to start this kind of business model, because to start up it, first of all is that every person who makes up the team must have a decent salary, or an equitable distribution of profits. If this premise is not met, then it is not a sustainable company,  and much less wants to promote a social change. On the other hand, I am not going to apologize for wanting to make a  living, that is, I carry out environmental consultancy services, sustainable tourism, technical assistance for rural development, environmental education,… among others. These are services that, for certain individuals or groups, should be made for free. Well, NO. It is my job. The time invested in preparing the activities, in visiting the territories, in investigating strategies that promote the social and economic development of a territory,… All of this involves a great effort and a great knowledge associated, and all people need money to live. That I have decided to put into practice in my work a philosophy of life does not mean that I have to do it for free.

Yes yes! This is beautiful, but put me practical examples! Well, imagine a food company that decides to pay the fair price to its suppliers, bet on the sale of products of Km0 and/or ecological and avoid the use of plastic bags among its customers. Or a company that forms and works women with difficulties to access to the labour market (for whatever reason), or people with disabilities. Let’s take the case of a beekeeping company that only sells the honey produced by their bees (if possible in a nearby area), without pesticides or fertilizers, worrying about the local biodiversity and restoring the cultural heritage associated. Or, on the other hand, companies that take advantage of the collection, cleaning and transformation of waste, used oil, to generate by-products giving a second chance to these remains that would end up buried or incinerated. Finally, a travel agency that promotes responsible and social trips among its clients, with activities committed to the territory visited and paying fair prices to its collaborators. All these examples, and many more, exist, are real and profitable, and could be offered a detailed explanataion on each experience described.

Social or sustainable entrepreneurship is a double opportunity. On the one hand, we are generating an economic benefit, not only for ourselves, but also to our employees, collaborators or suppliers. On the other hand, we strive to improve our territories. We work to change the world. The only thing we ask for is to favor the existence of public policies that help and support this type of organizations, not only with access to sources of funding, but with visibility, with free public counseling centers, with information or with incentives for entities that promote a social and environmental well-being of the population. Simply, do not put us in trouble when someone wants to start up a work activity that involves sustainable purposes.

 

The only thing we ask for is to favor the existence of public policies that help and support this type of organizations, not only with access to sources of funding, but with visibility, with free public counseling centers, with information or with incentives for entities that promote a social and environmental well-being of the population. Simply, do not put us in trouble when someone wants to start up a work activity that involves sustainable purposes.

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