Nov 11, 2012

Why Social Entrep Makes Sense

Last Tuesday, I  gave a talk to business students in FEU Diliman on Social Entrepreneurship. Having finished a class on the subject in Ateneo School of Government last month did't guarantee that I'll be able to deliver the message I need to inspire them to be like one. "Good luck," as Joe Green, an eco-entrepreneur who also spoke in the same event, has said in an almost sarcastic way.

It takes a lot of heart and guts to deviate away from the traditional way of working in a big company to earn money. Those who are bolder may take the path of an entrepreneur but it's a whole new level to prioritize the social impact you're making than focusing on the bottom line - net income.

Some of the invited speakers aren't even social entrepreneurs themselves so they approached the topic by using what they learned from research. Although their talks were informative, it didn't come out as authentic. So instead of filling the room with theories and tips, I tried to tell them why social entrepreneurship makes sense. 

Each decade is marked by a certain trend - the flower power, the decade of angst & grudge, the Internet boom and the era of globalization. Where are we now? It's a time when the world has more doers than observers. It's a time when instead of relying on institutions like the government or corporations, people are forming groups to solve concerns. Instead of looking for jobs, more and more people are building enterprises that provide jobs. Now more than ever, the citizens of the world have dared to move. 

The time is right, and so is the location as Philippines is predicted to be the next breakout nation and 16th largest economy by 2050. Add to that a rating just below investment grade and more funds dedicated to funding ideas and start-ups. More on this during my talk in San Beda on the 23rd.

That piece of knowledge is especially directed for the young because they can afford to make mistakes, fail fast and recover with dignity. If we can direct their passion and what corporations usually refer to as "aggressiveness" into something more worthwhile, and add to that a nurturing environment of people ready to support them (like what we try to accomplish with Forza Publishing Group), then maybe we can multiply the army of change makers and make a difference even in our own country faster than ever. 

I hope one day, we'll be able to feature a student from the audience in FEU who will be challenged by the things we said to pursue what s/he really aspires.

Dare to move!

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