Why Social Entrepreneurship?

The Educate! program focuses on encouraging a combination of education, socially responsible leadership, and social entrepreneurship in order to accomplish our mission of educating and empowering the next generation of socially responsible leaders in Africa.

Education offers the knowledge and credentials necessary to help students expand their realm of possibilities for the future. Socially responsible leadership encourages students to use their potential in a socially responsible way to positively benefit society on a large scale. But why social entrepreneurship?

Traditional entrepreneurship focuses solely on profit, the bottom line. Much of the developed world has progressed wearing these “profit blinders.” And as a result, the Western world has created a model of development that is unfortunately unsustainable. From the impact on the global environment, to the energy crisis, to the need to exploit other societies to maintain our own level of consumption, the Western model of development is not one which can, nor should, be replicated on a worldwide scale. Social entrepreneurship, on the other hand, is the next evolution of entrepreneurship. Where traditional entrepreneurship has one bottom line, social entrepreneurship has two: profit and impact. Where traditional entrepreneurship leads naturally to the unsustainable exploitation of mankind and the environment, social entrepreneurship is conscious of societal and environmental impact and creates a path of development that leads to a sustainable means of existence.

As Uganda develops, why replicate the unsustainable model on which much of the developed world relies? The infrastructure and institutions of development here are in the process of being created. As Uganda fills in its blank slate of development, instead of replicating the Western model, why not find a new model based on sustainability? We believe social entrepreneurship is a necessary building block of such a model.

I’m planning on posting again soon about some exciting developments in the ideas behind the Educate! program. So keep checking back in the next few days for more.

On a side note, this afternoon I’m going to visit Joseph Munyambanza at Cornerstone Leadership Academy. It’s an overnight trip and I’m excited to not only to visit Joseph, but also to see Cornerstone, sit in on classes, and learn more about the philosophy of the school.