“Do well by doing good” was first coined by Benjamin Franklin nearly 250 years ago, and the phrase remains as relevant today as it was then. Global churn and the recent pandemic have brought into sharp focus the need for social change. This is the essence of social entrepreneurship. To understand this concept, consider the following three examples: the Grameen Foundation, Lokal Travel, and Barefoot College.
The Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit organization that combines microfinance with innovation to improve lives in developing nations. Its partners operate in 22 countries and have helped change the lives of over eleven million people. Its Growth Guarantee Program, backed by Citigroup, capitalized at $31 million when it launched in 2005. It leverages this capital to provide over $180 million in local currency financing to microfinance institutions around the world over the next five years.
The Grameen Foundation has been around for more than a decade. It started in Bangladesh and has since expanded into many different sectors, including health care, agriculture, and financial services. This social enterprise has grown to be a model for aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. But how did Grameen get its start? How did it attract investors and create an incredible impact? Here’s a closer look.
The Grameen Foundation has pioneered the field of microfinance for three decades. In India, the foundation has implemented an e-learning platform that is used by a thousand frontline microfinance workers. Through this platform, they have also trained over 58,000 women to use digital financial services. The beneficiaries of the Grameen Foundation’s microfinance programs now perform more than ten million digital transactions every month.
While it may seem like a simple concept, Muhammad Yunus has demonstrated that visionary leadership can lead to concrete action, making a real difference in millions of people in Bangladesh and other countries. What seemed to be an impossible idea three decades ago is now an everyday reality for many. Today, he has successfully created a model that allows the poorest people to make their lives better through the microfinance services offered by Grameen.
Social entrepreneurs can take advantage of technology to improve their services and reduce the costs of delivery. The Grameen Foundation has used technology to expand its reach and create new products and services for people in developing nations. Its Village Phone Program, for example, has become a profitable venture. Another successful example of social entrepreneurship is Grameen Telecom, which is a not-for-profit microfinance provider. Despite the challenges faced, Grameen Telecom is a model for successful social entrepreneurship.
The Grameen Foundation’s mission is to fight malnutrition by creating opportunities for street vendors. By providing jobs for these women, the Grameen Foundation also works to improve child nutrition through its nutrient-fortified yogurt. The profit generated by this social enterprise is used to finance future investments. The company pays no dividends to its partner businesses. If a social entrepreneur succeeds in its venture, he will surely be able to replicate that success.
There are many types of social enterprises. Some social entrepreneurs operate purely as nonprofits, while others create businesses and apply the principles of business to create a more just world. Social entrepreneurs make money while helping others. This makes their business a truly valuable venture. So, why not start a social business yourself? It’s the best of both worlds. The key is to find out what works best for your situation.
The founding father of Barefoot College, Bunker Roy, is turning 72 this August. The social entrepreneur has spent the past four decades training rural women and giving them the skills to be self-sufficient. With more than 37,000 graduates, Barefoot has provided light and power to more than four million people. Roy has also received a long list of awards. In recent years, he has been recognized as a Clinton Global Initiative Fellow and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.
An example of this is the work of Hogan Lovells, who completed a three-year shared-value partnership with Barefoot College. The company trained women to build solar panels for homes in 35 countries. They also helped bring light to 200,000 homes. In addition, Anais Amazit is passionate about empowering women to tackle climate change. Her passion for helping women overcome obstacles and become self-reliant has spawned several Barefoot solutions.
“Barefoot’s approach to community development was developed in 1972 by Roy Barefoot and is now being implemented by more than one thousand communities in over 80 countries. According to the Barefoot Approach organization, this approach has helped nearly one million people gain access to energy, self-direction, and income. In the process, the College aims to help the most impoverished communities achieve self-sufficiency.
With the help of the solar engineering graduates of Barefoot College, Barefoot’s students are now starting solar businesses in their own villages. By investing in their own homes, they’ve helped to mitigate expensive and environmentally hazardous kerosene burning. Additionally, Barefoot College helps with the ongoing introduction of digital technology. With a mission to provide sustainable solutions to poverty, Barefoot graduates have begun school under solar lights.
In addition to providing training for rural people, Barefoot has a global reputation for training the poor in sustainable agriculture. The college also helps the poor in gaining employment. The founder of Barefoot College, Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy, has been involved in social activism for more than 40 years. His social activism has inspired a new generation of Indian social entrepreneurs to take up similar causes. He has helped train people in a wide range of occupations, from making puppets with recycled World Bank reports to educating the community about solar-powered farming.
The founders of Barefoot College also support a network of rural entrepreneurs in the area. The group supports local farmers and supports women to start their own business. One example of a Barefoot College-sponsored social entrepreneurship project is the creation of comics by rural women. The comics feature stories about human rights and are inspired by real-life experiences of local women. The creators of the comics, PositiveNegatives, collaborated with Barefoot students to produce literary comics, animations, podcasts, and other media to reach the community.
While there are thousands of travel businesses that claim to support local communities and promote environmental awareness, Lokal Travel is unique among them. The company partners with local leaders and works with a global network of travelers to connect tourists with good causes. Travel is the largest industry in the world, affecting over 1 billion people every year. Unfortunately, local communities are often left out of the travel industry, and small, homegrown businesses struggle to compete with international brands.
To help those communities, Lokal also supports their local entrepreneurship and causes by giving back to them. Their mission is to foster a tourism culture that values authentic local experiences and supports local entrepreneurship. This social enterprise has become a fast-growing success, reaching $1 million in revenue in three years. By offering a unique and memorable experience for tourists, Lokal supports local entrepreneurship, creating real benefits for the local community, and supporting local causes, businesses, and organizations.
The company has become a Benefit Corporation (B Corporation). This means that it does not focus on profit over destination. Its mission extends beyond providing jobs, though, and includes impacting infrastructure, clean water, education, and other needs of communities. While it may not have the same impact on everyone, it is a great way to give back and support the community. It’s also a great way to help the environment.
Anna is a student of Sustainable Tourism Management and is supporting the Competition as a member of the marketing team. In her free time, she supports the team in the development of the social tourism platform and works on communications, communication, and design. She believes that social and sustainable businesses are the future of tourism. If more people embraced social entrepreneurship, the industry will benefit from it. You can too. The competition is open to everyone, so why not give it a try?