EMERGING TRENDS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP Introduction We all know that entrepreneurship is about attempting to assemble resources including innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity. The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new business; however, in recent years, the term has been extended to include social and political forms of entrepreneurial activity.
Entrepreneurship ranges in scale from solo projects to major undertakings creating many job opportunities. Many kinds of organizations now exist to support would-be entrepreneurs, including specialized government agencies, business incubators, science parks, and some NGOs. Lately more holistic conceptualizations of entrepreneurship as a specific mindset resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives in the form of social entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship, or knowledge entrepreneurship have emerged.
Social entrepreneurship is not merely an extension of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as some people would want us to believe, it is a conscious effort to contribute to a Social cause and the business enterprise is merely a medium for achieving the end results. Early beginnings The story of the entrepreneurship in India is full of ups and downs. During the pre British and British era, the entrepreneur was seen more as a broker or money lender, bound by caste affiliations, religious, cultural and social forces right from the philosophy of dharma down to the joint family system.
Entrepreneurship as we understand it today was not initially developed from this social segment. In addition, a number of political, economic factors too had an inhibiting effect on the spirit of enterprise among Indians in those times. Some of these were a lack of political unity and stability, the absence of effective communication systems, the existence of regulatory barriers and oppressive tax policies, and the prevalence of varied currency systems – all these combined together to restrict the growth of ntrepreneurship until around the third decade of the 19th century. The religious system of education and the low social esteem accorded to business were other potent forces that discouraged the advancement of large scale commercial ventures in pre-independence India . Thankfully however, the first half of the present century witnessed a gradual change for the better to the prevailing scenario. During this period, there was a growing tendency among the locals to take to business.
The spread of secular education, surge in nationalist feelings and social reform movements must have given a boost to this phase of the emergence of entrepreneurship in the country. Moreover, the two world wars and the enormous business opportunities they created for the growth of industrial ventures brought about a radical change in the attitudes of the public in favor of industrial entrepreneurship and broadened the vision of Indian businessmen. Independent India could now claim to have created a conducive climate for the spread of entrepreneurship.
It is in this perspective that the later evolution and growth of entrepreneurship in India has to be understood. In spite of the significant presence of large and medium enterprises in the economic scene, it is the small sector that that has always dominated the forays into entrepreneurship in India. In fact, this is quite true of most of the developing countries. It is not that the large and medium enterprises do not manifest entrepreneurship as their smaller counterparts. The reason most likely to be is that it is the small enterprise in which the presence of the entrepreneur is most visible.
Also in a country like India which is vast , diverse, and less developed, small enterprises have a very definite role to play not only by contributing towards employment and income generation, but also in attending to the specific needs of a large proportion of customers. Their greater visibility may also be attributable to the fact that in spite of all odds on the policy and market fronts, several thousand s of small enterprises thrive in a large number of production spheres.
More importantly, the small scale sector has helped widen the entrepreneurial base by giving rise to a new class of entrepreneurs from the ranks of employees, business executive, technicians and professionals. Thus was broken the earlier myth that entrepreneurship is an exclusive domain of the socially conservative, traditional trading communities. In fact, in this 1960 study of small entrepreneurs in the then State of Madras, James Bean observed that entrepreneurs could emerge from a wide range of social and economical backgrounds. Contribution of the NEN and other organizations
There are various associations, tie-ups and NGOs who are doing a yeoman service to the cause of entrepreneurship both abroad and in India. Notable among these are Evan Carmichael, TIE and our very own NEN (National Entrepreneurship Network) founded by Mr Romesh Wadhwani, an NRI entrepreneur who is the owner of Symhony Corporation in Silicon Valley. The aim of NEN which is a non profit organization is to foster the spirit of Entrepreneurship among the youth in India’s educational Institutions and assist them in running successful businesses. The need for networking in entrepreneurship
Neither entrepreneurship nor the phenomenon of innovation at the intersection of business and natural systems can be fully understood without a network perspective. Entrepreneurship is best understood as a process of innovative change, one which requires stakeholder engagement, cultivation, and ongoing management. The emergence of innovation depends on the ability of entrepreneurial leaders to identify and mobilize the necessary resources from willing network participants like those who bring information, skills, perspectives, funds, materials, buildings and equipment to create the change in product or process design.
What is Social Entrepreneurship? A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur assesses success in terms of the impact s/he has on society as well as in profit and return. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, many now are working in the private and governmental sectors and making important impacts on society.
Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change. Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps. The main aim of social entrepreneurship as well as a social enterprise is to further social and environmental goals for a good cause.
Although social entrepreneurs often are associated with nonprofits, this need not be incompatible with making a profit. Social enterprises are for ‘more-than-profit,’ using blended value business models that combine a revenue-generating business with a social-value-generating structure or component. A social entrepreneur in the twenty-first century will redefine entrepreneurship as we know it, due to their progressive business models. Rather than maximizing shareholder value, the main aim of social enterprises is to generate profit to further their social and or environmental goals.
This can be accomplished through a variety of ways and depends on the structure of the social enterprise. The profit from a business could be used to support a social aim, such as funding the programming of a non-profit organization. Moreover, a business could accomplish its social aim through its operation by employing individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds or lending to micro-businesses that have difficulty in securing investment from mainstream lenders. Social innovation and entrepreneurship
Faced with new complexities some companies are forging innovative paths to reconcile human impacts on the environment without compromising economic performance and the provision of high quality goods and services. Those individuals and companies are innovators creating future goods and services, future production processes and markets, and future ways of conducting business. They are engaged in processes that will redefine the firm toward a network innovation model. For this reason the pioneers provide us with windows into the future. The innovators draw from a range of sources to guide their actions, from simple opportunity recognition (e. . identifying unmet needs in the market) to deeper understanding of changing scientific information and social conditions from which opportunities emerge. The social innovation research field reaches across a number of academic disciplines such as business, public administration, social policy and psychology. “It is an interesting question as to when, and whether, it will become established as a separate field. ” The Role of B Schools Social entrepreneurship is increasingly finding its way into B-school campuses to facilitate future managers to choose the right business strategies, keeping in mind their impact on society and the environment.
With the focus on the aspect of social responsibility for business leaders of tomorrow, management institutes across the country are coming up with various initiatives to promote social entrepreneurship. According to the business schools, the initiatives help blend the entrepreneurial skills of the corporate world with the social purpose of non-governmental organizations. And the initiatives from the business schools are also luring an increasing crop of professionals preferring to take the path of becoming social entrepreneurs by shunning cushy jobs.
The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B) recently played host to EXIMIUS, its first entrepreneurship summit in August ’08. Capping the summit was a panel discussion on ‘Social Entrepreneurship’, featuring eminent speakers who have dedicated their lives to this cause. At Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, the interesting concept will soon make its debut into Xpressions ’08, the annual inter-Bschool meet at XIMB through ‘Spardha’, the social entrepreneurship game. “We are planning to introduce ‘Spardha’ with the objective of developing the education and infrastructure of villages through micro-planning.
The participating teams will submit the plans for a particular village and the plan of the winning team may be implemented on a larger level. The game will be introduced during the annual festival held in November at XIMB,” says a core committee member of XIMB. Similarly, Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) company Syntel is promoting an organisation called Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) within the campus of K J Somaiya Insitute of Management Studies and Research (SIMSR) that holds competitions and workshops on social entrepreneurship across B-schools to promote awareness about the subject. We also invite venture capitalists and private equity firms at these events to advise budding entrepreneurs on taking up social entrepreneurship. Moreover, our students also develop self help groups (SHG) in slum areas in Mumbai to market low-cost water filters and making slum dwellers financially responsible as a build up to their future ventures,” said Dr Suresh Ghai, Director of the Institute. The evolution of Social Entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurs have been around since human beings started to form social Communities, but the concept of social entrepreneurship is part of a more recent and larger story. It emerged at a specific historical juncture around the 1980s as business and society reorganized along entrepreneurial lines. The four movements in the recent evolution of social entrepreneurship can be classified in the following manner: The first movement was around 1980 and is best represented by the founding of Ashoka by Bill Drayton in 1980 to develop and legitimize the field of social entrepreneurship.
Thanks to this initial push, a growing number of social entrepreneurs around the world started to recognize themselves as such, and a global fellowship started emerging. The second movement occurred simultaneously with the first. In a sense, the two were part of the same wave of the early 80s in which men and women around the world began coming together to respond to the increasingly visible and growing inequity gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Social entrepreneurs, like many other common people who came together to address public sector shortcomings, respond to these state failures. But the difference between social entrepreneurs and other well meaning people wanting to do good to society is the way they go about it. Unlike the latter, social entrepreneurs are not content with simple responses to basic needs without offering practical, transformational solutions to change the systems and patterns that keep people poor.
They also do not feel their job is done by joining the throngs of protesters on the streets advocating change but offering no solutions. Rather, social entrepreneurs are the new social architects drawing up and testing the blueprints for a different way of constructing the world – and proving it can be done. The third movement that fed into the evolution of social entrepreneurship is related to corporate social responsibility – the concept emerging in the early 1990s that holds that the business of business is not just increasing shareholder value.
Rather, companies must embody transparency and ethical behaviour, respect for stakeholder groups and a commitment to add economic, social and environmental value. CSR, as it is known, was much less the result of an internal decision on the part of companies as it was a response to the groundswell led by the organized citizen sector and consumer groups – empowered by internet technologies – that forced business to acknowledge that its shareholder value was intrinsically tied to its ability to measure and mitigate negative environmental and social impacts, and maximize positive impact.
What started to become true at this time was that some social entrepreneurs were turning the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility on its head. Rather than setting up a business to generate profit first and then trying to make it socially and environmentally responsible, why not start out with the premise that the bottom line is social and environmental transformation, and then build your for-profit activities around making that happen. Quite a number of social entrepreneurs have done exactly that – setting the blueprint for the Social Corporation of the 21st century.
The fourth movement began around the same time in the early 1990s. The search to prove that one non-profit was a more effective investment of donor dollars than another was best accomplished by the establishment of clear measurable goals, benchmarks and outcomes so that such comparisons could be made. This occurred among foundations, philanthropists and not-for-profits influenced by business approaches drawn primarily from the world of venture capital. Social entrepreneurs embraced this challenge.
Over the last three decades, social entrepreneurship has continued to evolve – partly influenced by these moments, but more often than not, seizing the opportunities presented by them to further position their initiatives. By the end of the 20th century, the term social entrepreneurship had started to become part of the lexicon of development. Social entrepreneurship ventures in India and abroad • The earliest example of Social entrepreneurship in our country is that of Vinoba Bhave, founder and leader of the Bhoodan Movement, which caused the redistribution of more than 7,000,000 acres of land to aid India’s untouchables and landless.
Other notable entrepreneurs from our history are JRD Tata, GD Birla, the Godrej family, and more recently, Dhirubai Ambani. Some examples of entrepreneurial ventures across our country are: • “Barcamp” is an international network of user generated conferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants. (their website is www. barcamp. org ) • “DARE” is a media platform for the Indian Entrepreneur and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.
It is an interactive platform for enabling entrepreneurs to start and run their own business. It analyses what businesses (and those who want to start their own) need to do, rather than report on what businesses are doing. It identifies business opportunities and success mantras for others to follow. • The George Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment program empowers women by providing education, cooperative farming, vocational training, savings planning, and business development. In 2006 the cooperative farming program, Baldev Farms, was the second largest banana grower in South India with 250 acres under cultivation.
Profits from the farm are used for improving the economic status of the workers and for running the other charitable activities of the foundation. • “By Stupid Common Man” is a volunteer online association of business professionals from various industries for revival of declining industries in Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh is the biggest producer of entrepreneurs in India, but also has the largest history of entrepreneurial failure. This is an open forum with free membership and seeks the participation of a broader intellectual population.
This is a unique social entrepreneurial initiative for a noble cause. • South East Asia Pacific based Global Indian Foundation Global Indian Foundation which is headquartered in Singapore runs schools for gifted tribal or adivasi students in Gujarat, India. The public private partnership project aims to lift the education standards of the tribal students and make them employable in public or private sector. • In May 2008, 27-year old Rajnish Sinha and his IIM-Kozhikode batchmate Siva Cotipalli started Bangalore-based Dhana-X.
A fascination with microfinance and the idea of clubbing it with person to person (P2P) lending led them to quit their jobs to launch Dhana-X, a platform where people contribute small amounts online as loans. NGOs take up the task of disbursing these loans to needy communities in their areas of operation. • Richa Pandey, a marketing MBA, was a media sales professional in New Delhi for eight years. But her calling was rural India, partly because of her roots—her grandfather was a farmer in Uttar Pradesh. The retail and BPO sectors were creating job opportunities in a big way. I zeroed in on vocational training for rural youth in these areas,” Pandey recalls. In October 2007, she approached the Rural Technology Business Incubator (RTBI) at IIT-Madras with a business plan outline. Out of this was born “e-Jeevika, a unique program connected with designing course content and online training in three areas: retail sales, data entry and security services. eJeevika subjects candidates to psychometric tests to determine where they’d fit in best and trains them accordingly. One of the best examples of social entrepreneurship in India, however will always be renown as Amul. Amul was created by government initiative and by the passion of people like Dr Kurien. It wanted to bring out change in the way milk was produced and distributed on a massive scale. The vision was big, there was passion, there was capital (direct and indirect) there was terrific leadership, sustained and involved engagement with the grass-roots, and the formation of partnerships to create the impact via the business. Famous Social entrepreneurship ventures abroad
The first enterprise that comes to mind in international ventures is that of Ashoka (www. ashoka. org). Ashoka, founded by Bill Drayton is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981, they have elected over 2,000 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 60 countries. Other notable examples of International Social entrepreneurship ventures are iven below:. • Scojo Foundation http://www. scojofoundation. org Vision-Spring, founded in 1999 by Dr. Jordan Kassalow as a spin off from Scojo LLC, a distributor of high end glasses in the US, seeks to provide through an effective supply chain and economies of scale, high-quality reading glasses, previously unavailable to the communities where they worked, at an affordable price. Scojo Foundation, because of its relationship to Scojo Vision, LLC, is able to source glasses at low cost and that low cost is passed onto the Scojo Vision Entrepreneurs.
The Scojo Vision Entrepreneurs, in turn, sell the glasses to customers in their communities thereby enabling the women to earn a sustainable source of income. • The Schwabb Foundation http://www. schwabfound. org/ This organization does not help anybody with money, instead it helps social entrepreneurs with their resources; they connect interested investors and social entrepreneurs through technology. They have also connected with schools all around the world, which train social entrepreneurs for them. They conduct awards for the social entrepreneur of the year; they also conduct various events for social entrepreneurs.
They have many research papers and articles; they also have case studies on various social enterprises. Other notable contributions include: • Bill Drayton (U. S. ) – who founded Ashoka. org, Youth Venture, and Get America Working! • Marian Wright Edelman (U. S. ) – Founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and advocate for disadvantaged Americans and children. • Dr. Abraham M. George (India) – Founder of The George Foundation (TGF). • Alan Khazei (U. S. ) – Co-Founder of City Year, a leading national service program. • Dr.
Verghese Kurien (India) – Founder of the AMUL Dairy Project. • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (India) – Founded Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values. • Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh) – Founder of microcredit and the Grameen Bank. He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. • Dr. Maria Montessori (Italy) – developed the Montessori approach to early childhood education. • Margaret Sanger (U. S. ) – founder of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she led the movement for family planning efforts around the world. Florence Nightingale (U. K. ) – founder of modern nursing, she established the first school for nurses and fought to improve hospital conditions. • John Muir (U. S. ) – Naturalist and conservationist, he established the National Park System and helped in the founding of The Sierra Club. • Jean Monnet (France) – who was responsible for the reconstruction of the French economy following World War II, including the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Challenges to social entrepreneurship • The first challenge is from governments.
A majority of them have yet to recognize social entrepreneurship as a legitimate form of enterprise. This recognition is essential for finding ways to promote it through fiscal and legislative incentives, including the, the elimination of burdensome regulations, review of tax laws , arbitrary decision-making and other arduous requirements and inefficient practices that hamper social entrepreneurs. • The second challenge is from organizations – to encourage businesses and discover the competitive advantages offered by working in partnership with social entrepreneurs.
From a financial perspective, reaching untapped markets can be greatly facilitated by linking with social entrepreneurs who have spent a long time in designing; implementing and refining innovative ways of bringing excluded groups into the marketplace. From a human resources perspective, the ability to attract top talent is a major challenge for companies. But the best and the brightest today are looking for more than impressive salaries and stock options. They want something that gives meaning to their work and their lives.
Supporting social entrepreneurs in different ways shows that companies care about more than the bottom line. Finally, corporate social responsibility is not about setting up separate corporate foundations to reach excluded populations through top down programs that compete with social entrepreneurs. Nor is corporate social responsibility about relegating the “social” work to the corporate foundation while the corporation carries on its business as usual. Working with social entrepreneurs should be part of the core business strategy of every company. The third challenge for social entrepreneurs is from foundations and philanthropists who should be the ones catalyzing social transformation by supporting social innovators. Foundations and high net worth individuals are well placed to engage in that process, as they are free of two forces that dominate the decisions of governments and business respectively – the ballot box and the bottom line. But many foundations and philanthropists seem content to fund projects that they hope will produce dramatic results in just 2 years or even less.
However, no social entrepreneur can transform a system in that time. It takes years, sometimes even decades. There is a need support for scaling up successful social innovations as social entrepreneurs have now developed the metrics to prove what they do has results. • The academic sector presents another major challenge for social entrepreneurship. Although there have been significant strides, particularly in the area of university education, we have still a far way to go as regards instilling entrepreneurial thinking in students from a young age.
And this is because we all know that entrepreneurship is not something to be learned out of a book; it must be cultivated and experienced. The entrepreneurial mindset has been identified by the following six attributes, namely commitment and determination; leadership; opportunity obsession; tolerance of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty, creativity; self-reliance, ability to adapt; and motivation to excel. How well are our educational institutions doing to instil these characteristics? Finally, social entrepreneurs must work together to build their network through the establishment of a professional teamwork that moves everyone beyond their personal goals and initiatives to a larger common purpose – and that is working across sectors to create institutions that can work for common causes and respond to unprecedented global challenges. Why social entrepreneurship? What is the reason for this definite shift from merely doing your own thing and making money to doing something for a common cause and running it as a successful venture?
Some suggested reasons could be • The desire to fulfil a common social need and gain personal satisfaction as well as recognition from society at large. • A means to serve interests of weaker and unprivileged sections of society and leverage this to existing businesses • Today’s world order realizes that greed does not pay in the longer run, but goodwill does. Whatever the reasons, the writing on the wall is very clear that social entrepreneurship is here to stay and it is in fact the way of the future of entrepreneurship.
Conclusion This paper has attempted to give an insight into the meaning of entrepreneurship, trace the early beginnings in our country and its evolution through history. It has also tried to bring out the emergence of social entrepreneurship as the new face of entrepreneurship, its raison d’etre, evolution and development in the world all over. It has brought out some examples of social entrepreneurship in our country as well as in the international scene with their aims, aspirations and followers.
It tells us the possible reasons for a gradual shift towards social entrepreneurship and how it is the way to the future. Lastly, it lists out certain challenges to social entrepreneurship. References 1. The definition of entrepreneurship from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Entrepreneurship 2. An article entitled “Entrepreneurship – The Indian story by Tiyas Biswas and Dr P. P. Sengupta in http://www. indianmba. com/Faculty_Column/FC791/fc791. tml 3. Social entrepreneurship inputs from www. ashoka. org 4. Information on social Ventures from www. svn. org. 5. An article titled “B schools get social about Entrepreneurship” by Chitra Unnithan and Vinay Umarji in http://www. business-standard. com/india/news/b-schools-get-social-about-entrepreneurship/333830/. 6. An article titled “Are entrepreneurs born or made? ” by Dan Bricklin from http://hbswk. hbs. edu/archive/2569. html. 7. Growing