I consider myself to be an Entrepreneur and one of the things I love about this “job”, is that Entrepreneurship has many phases and facets. One of these phases, that’s usually forgotten by many entrepreneurs is the social one. Although entrepreneurship is closely linked to making money for both the company or project and the entrepreneur, there is a kind of project where the monetary aspects appear at a secondary or tertiary level.
Although money is required to start a Social Entrepreneurship project, generally speaking, the entrepreneur won’t make a lot of cash from this activity. The main objectives are different, such as helping the community, kids in poverty conditions or sending a message across, for instance saving planet earth. Many of these objectives can be quite altruistic and idealistic, showing a different field where to apply all that entrepreneur knowledge we possess.
In my 29 almost 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity of working on traditional entrepreneurships and the ones with a social component. I started many years ago with these traditional projects, with the idea of making money and making a living for myself. However with time I realized there was something missing in my life and the missing piece was helping others and returning to society a little bit of what has been given to me. Both are great experiences and when someone asks me, I tell them they should try at least once in their life each of these entrepreneurships.
Being an active member of a social project is a big personal decision. For instance, I know many people how love to help charities and other social projects, but only with money donations. Others like to donate time and “get dirty” with the day’s work, for example, cooking food for underprivileged kids. There are also those who want to be part of the project and like to have a decision making position even if they don’t receive money in exchange for this. So at the end deciding how involve you want to be is a personal decision.
When I opted to join a Social Project, I decided I wanted to be as involved as I could be. I wanted to be a leader in this project, but I also wanted to work and get my hands dirty with the project’s objectives. And when it was possible, I also wanted to donate money for the projects of this organization. However, the only condition is that this had to be done in my spare time as a complement to my day job. I found this through an International Civic Organization called Active 20-30.
At any given time in your life you might decide you want to join a Social initiative or create your own. In the future I will write an article in how to decide whether to create a new project of join an established one. For the moment, I want you to realize you have these two options.
When you join an ongoing project you can have the option of being as involve as you want. However, the same project might require that you invest at least some hours of work a week. If this is the case, I advise you to analyze the requirement and if it is compatible with your way of life. If it’s not, then this project is out of your reach, at least for the time being.
Social Entrepreneurship is a great journey, not always easy, but if done right your work and input will change people’s life. This subject is very complex and I’ll be writing more articles about it in the near future. For the moment I invite you to check local Social Projects where you can join them and hopefully make a difference. Most of these projects are compatible with almost any way of living, so search how you can join them and I hope with them you can make a big difference for your community and why not, for the world.
Image taken from Flickr.com