This essay will describe the congruence between the philosophies and values supporting social entrepreneurialism and the philosophies and values supporting the New Public Health. This essay will also reveal my definition and values of social entrepreneurialism.
MY DEFINITION OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIALISM
Shane and Venkataraman (2000 cited in Baron & Shane 2005, p. 4) state that entrepreneurship is a process to understand how opportunities to create something new arise and are discovered or created by specific persons, who then use various means to exploit or develop them, thus producing a wide range of effects. According to Hisrich et al. (2005), there are four basic aspects of being an entrepreneur: the creation process, the devotion of the necessary time and effort, the willingness to assume the necessary risks, and rewards.
Considering the definition provided by Talbot et al. (2002) about social enterprise, I conclude that social entrepreneurialism is a nonprofit oriented business in which all of the profit it gets will be used for the sake of the community and to sustain its activities. I think social entrepreneur is someone who understands an emerged problem within her society which needs to be handled for the sake of the society. After recognizing the problem, she is then compelled to develop strategies and capture the opportunities to implement these strategies to overcome the problem. In this sense, social entrepreneurialism has many similarities with leadership.
Someone has to possess several characteristics to be a social entrepreneur, such as: high self-confidence, willingness to take the risks, creativity, have the ability to influence and motivate people. These characteristics also reflect leadership traits. I have mentioned in FLO activity 1 that leadership is the ability to influence and mobilize the other people to achieve their common goal or accomplish their duty. A social entrepreneur as well as a leader needs the other people to cooperate with in order to be able to attain the goal because she cannot achieve it by herself, instead she needs to work with or through the other people to reach the goal. To be able to influence and mobilize people toward the desired goal, she has to be able to communicate and share her vision and have confidence in herself as well as in her followers.
THE CONGRUENCE BETWEEN SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIALISM PHILOSOPHIES AND VALUES AND THE NEW PUBLIC HEALTH PHILOSOPHIES AND VALUES
Equality, equity and social justice are the underpinning values of the new public health. Equality means that everyone deserves the same opportunity to improve the quality of her life, while equity is dealing with the fairness in which someone may not get the same amount of resources as another person due to her condition. For example, every woman deserves to get access to family planning services. This is equality. However, some women may receive concession to implant Intrauterine Device (IUD) because they cannot afford them due to their economic conditions. This is equity. Social justice is the collective expression of the principle of equity (Talbot 2005). Social justice can be achieved through empowerment and participation. Both terms, empowerment and participation, indicate the involvement of the community to make social change to enhance their life quality.
Peter Thomson (in Talbot et al. 2002) defines social entrepreneurialism as a bold attempt at redressing many of the issues that people who are marginalized in our society have, by building their confidence and their capacity to help themselves. It seeks to empower communities and build social capital. It supports and encourages community to work together and assists them to discover and fulfill their own potential.
In this term, I find that the philosophies and values underpinning social entrepreneurialism are congruent with the new public health philosophies and values. Both encourage participation of the community members and empower them to bring about change in their social conditions so that it will enhance and improve their life quality.
HOW DO I VALUE THIS APPROACH
I think empowering others means that we have to encourage them to participate in handling the problems arise in their community. By letting everyone to participate in overcoming these problems, we promote the equality, equity and social justice since it enables them to express their needs, feelings, and opinions. It also gives them the opportunities to find the best solution on these problems.
Empowering and encouraging others to participate in social change is not an easy thing to do. It needs skills, strong commitment and willingness to assume the risks and failures. I think leaders and social entrepreneurs share the same characteristics and skills so that they will be able to mobilize people to bring about change. In fact, social entrepreneurs are leaders because they possess the traits needed to be a leader and they implement leadership principles and skills into practice.
In brief, the philosophies and values underpinning social entrepreneurialism are congruent with the new public health philosophies and values. Social entrepreneurs share common characteristics with leaders.
Baron, RA & Shane, SA 2005, Entrepreneurship: a process perspective, Thomson, South Western, Australia.
Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne, viewed 26 October 2008, http://www.bsl.org.au/main.asp?PageId=7&iMainMenuPageId=7
Hisrich, RD, Peters, MP, & Shepherd, DA 2005, Entrepreneurship, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_entrepreneurship viewed 26 October 2008.
Talbot, C, Tregilgas, P, & Harrison, K 2002, Social enterprise in Australia: an introductory handbook, Adelaide Central Mission Inc., Adelaide, viewed 26 October 2008, .
Talbot, L & Verrinder, G 2005, Promoting health: the primary health care approach, 3rd edn, Elsevier, Sydney, pp. 37-76.
By: Yulaecha P. I.