Steps to social change with social entrepreneurship

Raafia Gul Sharif


       “Make a difference in the world.” That is what millennials say today whenever they are asked about what they want to do in the future. However, it’s important to note what a “difference” means to them. To my understanding, making a difference in the world means to bring change in our society. Don't we all grow up dreaming about doing something great in our futures, and be remembered for it forever too?

I did that, and I still do.

To strive for a change in our future where we can get up in the morning and make a difference in our lives. The real question is how can we make a difference in each other's lives?

As COVID-19 hit every country around the globe, communities all around the world have been struggling economically and financially. First World Countries such as the United States have had the national unemployment rate rise three times in three months compared to the two years during The Great Recession. Fellow citizens, and entrepreneurs in particular, should consider now more than ever to make a difference in the communities they live in. Entrepreneurship is the product of capitalism. Citizens have the power to invent and innovate on the supply and demand of the market value. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it sounds. The demand is a particular criteria that correlates with the necessities and wants of people according to their financial status. One of the obstacles that most entrepreneurs face now is trends that the public demands as well as changes that can happen to the trends over time.

After WW2, the world had shifted its course towards globalization and technology. This benefited countries around the world greatly. New innovations led to better connections around the world that is continuously being built on today. Vast knowledge and information is just fingertips away from us today because of it. Social Entrepreneurship, aka “Social Innovation” is a term used by David Bornstein. Social Entrepreneurship has given birth to solutions for social problems presented today. Social entrepreneurship is much similar to what entrepreneurship is but rather than having business principles and beliefs based on profit, social entrepreneurs invest in a social cause that contributes to social work, community development, and environmental science. Social Entrepreneurs step in where the government fails, and at the same time keep a close eye and maintain pressure on the government to take actions whenever they don’t work together on issues side by side.

The steps to social entrepreneurship starts with:

1) Pointing out a social issue. An issue that is keeping citizens from having a stable lifestyle. A social issue characterizes that is keeping a social class from progressing, or furthermore its affecting the livelihood of the people. After pointing out, it is important that one researches the issue and gets enough information in theory and methods.

2) Network and connect: Talk to the people and connect with the mutual understanding of the social issue. People who are most directly affected by the social issues are the ones who are willing to work with you. Other than that, there are people who hold the same set of beliefs regarding the particular issue and may agree to team up with you. It is important that you seek those who are willing to put their time and contribution, in a mutual mission to resolution. This is the most lucrative and essential part of the steps because it involves the brain storming and the transition of putting the word of a team into an action. Every bit of detail of a plan if not observed with clear methods can lead to an oversight.

3) Solution: Whether it is an invention, policy making and implementation, construction of new infrastructure, education or prevention etc, the issue is never eradicated, it is important to understand, as a social entrepreneur that, the social issue is a variable that remains constant. For example, poverty is an element that remains constant in different demographics, but the transition of giving a solution to poverty which is employment and education will gradually bring people out of poverty. People are the invariable that holds the capability to change. Bornstein mentions, “By sharpening the role of government, shifting practices and attitudes in business and opening up waves of opportunity for people to apply their talents in new, positive ways, the emerging citizen sector is reorganizing the way the work of society gets done.” The prominent structure of social enterprise runs on employing people to the cause, this way the unemployment is decreasing and also the progress is much defined in shape.

4) Resources: Once the resolutions, with the detailed plan is present it is important to have the available funds to work on the resolutions. Many entrepreneurs want the freedom of regulating the finances, and many start-ups bring in their savings for the cause. Once the period of establishing the organization completes and once there is a significant impact according to the targeted demographic, the profit and revenue can then be used within the organization. Another way to approach the resources are by sharing the idea with established business companies who might help in funding the mission. Government grants and loans are another way.

5) Progressing partnerships: Bornstein discussed in his book called How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, on partnering up with academic institutions, non-governmental and governmental organizations, government agencies, and international organizations to create a large scale impactful representation of the mission.

6) Making a difference: It does not end here, resources are vast, which means there are many different ways to have an impact too. Hope and the belief in a better future is key for pushing us every morning to do something extraordinary. One of the greatest personal missions one can have is to turn your dream into a reality and make a difference in the world TODAY.


                          Bornstein, D. (2007). How to change the world: Social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas. New York: Oxford University Press.