Few years ago, a few Television ads became a little longer by adding “of every XYZ product you buy, we will give one rupee/or more to…” remember? And there came a wave of popular brands giving back to the society and the environment. From detergent powders to coconut oil to sanitary napkins all brands wanted to make a statement and tell the potential consumers about how socially responsible their brand is. Time changed, the rules and dynamics of advertising and marketing have also changed significantly. From TV, internet, mobile phones to print media, solid Business strategies and campaigns are everywhere. Even government programs are run with premium advertising strategies.
However, profit making or not making may not be everyone’s target. For example under the corporate social responsibility programs, many organizations encourage their employees to do social good by making donations, contributions, or even visit a few NGOs on a regular basis. And some have chosen Social Entrepreneurship as a full-time career, and it has emerged as a new stream of the profession and even profit making in some cases.
Young India contributes
Your social entrepreneurship idea may not be as big as Mahatma Gandhi’s to encourage an entire nation to become self-sufficient by producing salt, or as wide spread as former US President Bill Clinton’s work for HIV-AIDS awareness and prevention. One can start small and start now. In fact many successful Indian social entrepreneurs are as young as 25-26, for example: Aniket Deogar, 26, has a venture named ‘Haqdarshak’, a mobile-based platform to collate information of all government run schemes for the citizens, who’s entitled to what, and helping people identifying which particular scheme they can benefit from.
Another venture named ‘Paperman’, run by Mathew Jose, 28, is about better waste management by working in close collaboration with the scrap dealers of Chennai. This is a mobile-app based program, connecting scrap dealers to potential customers and dealing with waste management with environment-friendly ways.
The ‘Social’ in Social Entrepreneurship
Most of us would tend to purchase things that are either environment-friendly, supporting some NGOs or a social welfare program, however, ‘being social’ in the times of stiff market competition is a challenge of another kind. Brands have to incessantly prove their commitment and promise towards such programs. From Tata Sky’s and Axis Bank’s claim to have the presence in the remotest corner of the country to Surf Excel’s declaration of profit sharing with educational programs for underprivileged children, Businesses are directing their approach to counter social evils, gaps, myths, and inequality in the society.
The hidden idea or motive may yet be profit making, for most brands and entrepreneurs, however, a social message or social welfare objective can really help raise the bar and revenues high. If the world can benefit from your profit making then what’s the harm?