Posted by: isaac aggrey | May 22, 2014

Empowering Young Creative Thinkers through Social Entrepreneurship

interview1 Many young people do not have the required skills, awareness and investment to turn their potentials to their advantage. They also lack access to lessons that might help demystify the technicalities of starting a business as well as focusing on achievable or better results. Overcoming these challenges can be very tedious as there are no clear guiding principles to apply.

The social entrepreneurship concept has managed to play a very critical role in the socio-economic transformation of nations. It could therefore be used as a model of initiating new businesses to better the lives of young people in Ghana. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, their channels of operation typically involves working closely with both the private sector as well as the government.

Social entrepreneurship is therefore not in competition with government and the private sector but is a complimentary institution with the common goal of working for the betterment of the people. Innovation often happens when different disciplines collide and it’s becoming apparent that most values – certainly most social value – is likely to be created at the intersection of government, private and the social sector.

The main distinguishing characteristic is that social entrepreneurship aims at furthering social and environmental goals. Just like their private counterparts, they are people who are ambitious, self-driven, innovative, resourceful and focused on results. They use their skills to identify opportunities and approaches that can be exploited to change society for the better.

Social entrepreneurship has become the so called “Third Pillar” in the development discourse and practice, and integral role in solving the social and economic problems we face in our communities today. At the West Africa Social Entrepreneurs Network (WASEN), we have adopted business-like approaches to solving societal problems and have succeeded in bringing about meaningful socio-economic change in Ghana.

WASEN has initiated the Social Entrepreneurship Guide (tailored learning and training programs) to demonstrate the scale and diversity of social value using business principles – much of which is achieved through harnessing the power of young people’s creativity and innovation. This guide further demonstrates the huge opportunities for social enterprises to harness their talents to generate insights, to drive more effective action and to fuel social change.

This successful guide can be used as a template for young people looking to embrace social entrepreneurship as a means of transforming their societies. By combining the business–like ideals and approaches with their relentless quest, young people can use this guide to radically improve the livelihoods of their communities in a sustainable manner.

However, it is important to recognize that it is not just any non-profit organization that can use this model to address the development challenges that continue to confront us. It is those non-profits and other citizen-driven organizations (social business) who can clearly illustrate a “more-than-profit” motives, uses good business sense and a desire to bring about social change that can benefit from this guide.

It is in this spirit that Isaac Aggrey, the Executive Director of WASEN granted an interview to Kweku Temeng of TV 3 Business Focus to further highlight his love for humanity and commitment to bring about positive change across the world.

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