Modern Social Entrepreneurs: 4 Skills for Developing Businesses that Do Well and Do Good
Modern social entrepreneur (n.) = Someone who wants to build a business that drives positive social change.
They are not someone who can make a business more than a business, but anyone who wants to do their part in helping solve society’s problems. We’re talking about the modern social entrepreneur – someone who wants to establish their own venture while helping others and solving social issues, from cultural to environmental. This includes young people who are the active citizens and change-makers of tomorrow.
The United Nations marks July 15 as World Youth Skills Day to raise awareness on the importance of capacity development for youth, which will provide them with opportunities and choices later in life. For young people who are passionate about and want to bring about positive change, we present 4 essential skills for modern social entrepreneurs to develop a good and innovative venture that creates a real, lasting benefit to society.
1. Creativity and Innovation | Turn creativity into innovation
Creativity and knowing how to turn it into innovation are the first essential skill for modern social entrepreneurs. This helps you think up and find the right practice to manage your product and service systematically in the midst of a challenging and uncertain economy. Before you get there, it’s helpful to tell yourself, “I have a lot to learn”. Learn so that you can manage your time effectively to cultivate your creativity and prepare for real actions. Dedicating time to learn, train and hone your craft can only do you good, and soon society.
2. Data Analysis | Think, analyse, develop
Generation Z has grown up and lived in a time overflowing with data from every corner of the world. So critical reading and critical thinking are undoubtedly the skills that increase work efficiency. When embarking on a project, take it as a rule of thumb to read extensively, analyse your information and know-how to develop that knowledge into practice. This is you taking a step closer to becoming a strong, sustainable social entrepreneur.
3. Project Management | Focus on key points
As we well know, most resources are limited. And this is where innovative project management comes in to say, focus on the essence and only what has to be done to achieve the objectives; don’t waste time and resources unnecessarily. At the same time, though, be open to some challenges, even risks, and don’t be too strict. Be lenient in certain respects in order to learn new things.
4. Human-centred Design
For many years, the focus of social issue management has been on solving existing problems. Now, young people who seek to become a social entrepreneur have to think about beneficial design, meaning to create with an understanding of the beneficiary, providing effective solutions while offering a good experience for your target. For this to be achieved, aspiring social entrepreneurs should practise their observational, analytical and interpersonal skills, get familiar with doing a group discussion or an interview, and so on. Remember to acquire new knowledge and hone your skills, whether by yourself, from/with other people, or by other things or tasks that may appear trivial. The result is worthwhile as it instils lifelong learning and develops characteristics that make the younger generation a social entrepreneur with a friendly and welcoming presence as opposed to an expert who comes off as stern and smug.
On top of learning and getting ready for the future on your own, there is a program like the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) that empowers Thai youth to become good social entrepreneurs. On July 11, 2019, the program launched Youth Entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific 2018/19, a joint report of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and Youth Co:Lab – co-created by UNDP and the Citi Foundation – that focuses on youth aged 18-34 and current youth entrepreneurship trends as well as the entrepreneurial ecosystem in 10 countries around Asia and the Pacific.
The report finds social entrepreneurs make up the smallest group of the working-age population at 3.8%. The launch event, therefore, welcomed academics and important stakeholders such as UNDP, ChangeFusion, National Innovation Agency, the Children and Youth Council of Thailand, and social enterprise Hostbeehive for a discussion on economic capacity building and skills development for youth to become good and efficient entrepreneurs.
The full report can be downloaded here: http://pacific.undp.org/…/youth-entrepreneurship-in-Asia-Pa…