The Art of Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Shared Value & Lasting Impact through Entrepreneurship

On Sunday, 6th September 2020, we held our sixth Hebe Talks with Nadia Karina (MSc Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, The London School of Economics and Political Science) to share her knowledge and experience in regard to social entrepreneurship.

The sixth Hebe Talks brings up insights from Nadia Karina's personal experiences of taking her MSc Degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science, founding her own social enterprises, namely Ekhaya Social Enterprise and Urup Social Enterprise, as well as her participation in Nest. It also discusses themes relating to Social Enterprise 101 and its landscape, the distinction between social business and conventional business, and impact measurement.

Social Entrepreneurship and its Landscape

“Social Enterprises pursue a social mission through engaging in entrepreneurial behavior" - Estrin & Stephan

Based on our discussion with Nadia, she explained that social enterprise is a business that has objectives to generate positive social impact as its primary purpose. Take an example of Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize Winner, who harnesses the power of social entrepreneurship to found Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Such social enterprise aims to make use of the power of business to eradicate poverty. Another example of businesses which adopt social entrepreneurship practice would be Ecosia, TOMS, and Ben & Jerry's. In fact, the practice of social enterprise has lately gained its popularity in Indonesia, which is proven by the exponential growth of the number of social enterprises. As captured by the British Council and UNESCAP, the social enterprises (SEs) in Indonesia amounted to approximately 342,000 and it has been grown five times in the past five years.

The Difference between Social Businesses and Conventional Businesses

The first underlying difference between social business and conventional business is the fact that social enterprises aim to solve the problem for the community. Secondly, social enterprises aim to provide solutions to the problem through their offerings. This is fueled by purpose and impact as the main drivers to which they enable the business to not just serving customers, but also "beneficiaries". Thirdly, social enterprises need to balance between financial sustainability and creating impact. Lastly, social enterprises envision "the change they want to see", how to create the changes, and impact measurements.

How to create impact through your business?

The life purpose of the true social entrepreneur is to change the world” - Bill Drayton

Based on what Nadia has learned from running several social entrepreneurship projects, there are three ways that can be done to embed impact on your business. Firstly, have a deep understanding of the problems and the community, which can be done through community research, user-centred design, and design thinking. Secondly, engage closely with the community while having a strong business mindset, which is made possible via partnerships, social programmes, operations and marketing. And thirdly, know the importance of measuring the impacts by means of lean measurements, wellbeing measurements, and Randomized Control Trials (RCTs)

Why social subject in entrepreneurship is an area of importance?

According to Porter and Kramer in Harvard Business Review, aspiring entrepreneurs have to understand the concept of creating shared value by thinking beyond tradeoffs, reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity, and building supportive industry clusters. Additionally, when planning to create an emergent venture, it is important to strike a delicate balance between impact and commercial concerns to discover the humble odyssey of entrepreneurship.

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