“I have seen the Boston Red Sox win the World Cup. Twice. So don’t tell me this is impossible, it’s just hard” – Joe Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund, at the 2013 Skoll World Forum for social enterprise.
As a concept, social enterprises have been around for the longest time. Social entrepreneurs marry money and meaning in creative ways – combining the passion required to run a social mission working on some of the most difficult problems with the acumen to run a business that can sustainably support this mission.
The most exciting development in recent times however has been the tremendous increase in interest of people from all quarters, backgrounds and age groups to join social enterprises as a viable ‘career choice.’ Not a yearly philanthropic attempt, a weekend volunteering or an activity to pursue after retirement, but something to bet your life and your most productive years on.
Youngsters graduating from the top schools in the country are exploring starting or throwing in their mite with social good, mid-career professionals are looking at alternatives where they can exercise their skills, experience and intent to work on new areas and challenges and business leaders are increasingly starting up or investing in impact. India’s current generation is taking a never-seen-before interest in writing the country’s inclusive development story. So what does it mean, beyond the fire to make an impact, to actually run a social enterprise or work in one?
Starting today, The Alternative’s July special series – “Work With A Purpose” – takes a deep look at what moves people inside the crazy, exciting and challenging world of social enterprises in India, starting from the founder to the field worker.
The Extraordinary Entrepreneur: We talk to social entrepreneurs who are creating tremendous impact on the ground on their journey and what it really takes to build an organisation that can work on the dual profit-impact mission, realise an audacious vision and stick the course.
A day in the life (of a social enterprise employee): Whether it is a marketing manager selling traditional art and craft goods to a mainstream market or a unit leader working on building rural toilets,employees ‘deconstruct’ their world at work along with loads of practical advice for anyone looking to take the plunge.
Socent’s Coolest Offices: From brilliantly inspiring spaces to fun, quirky, innovative and creative setups, from startups in the city to work stations in the jungle, we feature the most amazing impact work spaces and workplaces from across the country.
Stay with us over the next few weeks as we look under the hood to see what it really takes to build and work at the most impactful impact organisations in this country.
Write to The Alternative at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to contribute to this series.
The Alternative is an online media publication focused on sustainable living and social impact.