By: Lolemeir C. Egos

Social enterprises are defined as nonprofit or for-profit business ventures that strive to achieve a quantifiable double bottom line of financial and social returns. The entrepreneur is someone who “shifts economic resources out of an area of lower productivity  into an area of higher  productivity and greater yield”. In doing so,  social return on investment is gauged thru social impacts while financial return on investment is thru profitability.

In the previous generations, we have seen how the ugly side of business has been responsible for many of the problems that threaten our world today. But in 1970’s social entrepreneurship started gaining recognition as business searching for greater social relevance. It has become a buzzword in both the private sector and government with the advent of efforts which promote and ensure development. Social enterprise  is a growing movement worldwide. It proposes a new  way to solve the world’s ills. Instead of a government programs, a non-profit charity or a for profit business, social enterprise tries to fix social problems while operating a sustainable business. Fertile ground for social   enterprise development was brought-out by the social issues such as poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, gender inequality  and environmental degradation. Social entrepreneurship aims to help society as well as generate profits. A community of social entrepreneurs is able to recognize problems in the community, and then identify resources that can help address the problem.

Moreover, social enterprise is defined as an innovative way of building business and make a change in society. A for-profit social enterprise is a responsible business undertaking which concerns social impacts  and is after of  quantifiable profits among entrepreneurs for self-sufficiency and improved standard of living.  A realistic common goals in the society can only be attained by increased  productivity and capacity thru  entrepreneurship or income generation opportunities. Profitability is an important bottom line in a social enterprise to sustain developmental undertakings and to further social purpose.

Hence, a social entrepreneurial community, and through them, community  is able to maximize the opportunities presented to them. Isang Adbokasiya sa Alternatibong Panggagamot, Pagsasaka at Pangkabuhayan (1-ASAPPP Movement) is now engaging into social enterprise. 1-ASAPPP Movement in partnership with Dok Alternatibo is strengthening its community ties to create a symbiotic community through livelihood program, scholarship grants, and collaboration with government and non-government groups. 1-ASAPPP Movement promotes health and organic farming campaigns. Their works help communities and their people through more jobs, increased incomes, improved livelihoods, healthy living, while reducing the environmental impact of their activities. Social entrepreneurs contribute to community development, so that the entire community has improved condition through sustainable grassroots methods.

In order to turn a social enterprise into a successful business, you need to lay in a equilibrium those two bottom lines (social impact and profitability). They say, doing good and making money are two odd gloves. But once you master both, you will have the chance to create a sustainable, positive change in you and your community. Entrepreneurs  must be “doing charity by doing trade”.

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