Sunday, February 15, 2015

Let the Love Begin in Business

The world of business has always been attractive to business-minded individuals because of the anticipation of profit, prestige and expression of one’s passion. While businesses thrive towards progress, public impression goes evident that businessmen exist mainly for profit motives. This raises concern among the new generation of entrepreneurs taking into consideration the welfare of the society where they operate. In the same manner that quite a number of challenges including poverty, unemployment, human trafficking, and lack of access to affordable education bombard socially responsible individuals to do something for the benefit of others. This leads the way to a new concept in business – touching the very emotion of the entrepreneur which eventually becomes his expression of love in business. Hence, the era of social entrepreneurship.    

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship as a concept and as a practice has evolved from engaging into business for profit motives into a business venture for the good of the society which is named as social entrepreneurship. It is in line with the Chinese Proverb that goes “Give man a fish and he will live a day and teach man how to fish and he will live a lifetime.” Moreover, it is an undertaking whereby the entrepreneur conceives, organizes, manages and assumes the risks of an enterprise created for the good of society.

Truth be told that Social Entrepreneurship touches our emotions that we tend to be receptive and sensitive of the community that we belong. It is giving attention to a painful need, a seemingly endless problem that a large number of population suffers – something that makes you uncomfortable, disturbed and agitated that propels you to think of business ideas that would serve as a solution to the challenges. Simply put, Social Entrepreneurship is a business by the people, of the people and for the people.

My Journey  to Social Entrepreneurship

I learned about social entrepreneurship exactly four years ago through Project Pagsulong – a nationwide competition for Social Entrepreneurship Ideas. With its advocacy to have a societal impact, I took the chance of joining where I submitted E3 Radical Ventures which is all about Electronic Entrepreneurship Education. From then on, I fell in love with the concept and I was inspired to share it to my students with the commitment that I will apply it the simplest way I can.
While I find it to be too ambitious to undertake social entrepreneurship because I am also in need, I just find it imperative and necessary to do my part. We basically started MSU Young Entrepreneurs Society, 2nd semester of A.Y. 2013-204 with the end goal of helping out the self-supporting students by educating them about entrepreneurship, teach them how to implement business ideas and guide them in earning money for their benefit. It was a failed attempt due to busy schedules and other priorities but we have started reviving it now by producing polvoron, banana delight, papaya delight among others. We are few in number but I hope and pray that we will expand and be able to push it through no matter what.

Ideaspace Competition

Sometime in November 2014, we received an invitation to join a Nationwide Business Idea Competition in the field of Technopreneurship at MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology. Student participants converge at the venue, fully inspired to offer a business solution to societal problems through technology. I was one of the faculty chaperons and after knowing that the competition was open to all, I grabbed the chance. We then formed a team including the late Dr. Perla Calunod and Mr. Ralph Buca who are also my colleagues. The idea is coined as E3 Learning which focuses on Electronic Entrepreneurship Education. The main goal is to encourage the unemployed, less fortunate and struggling Filipinos to learn about entrepreneurship, do business and make a living out from it. Our business solution is far unique from the existing businesses because we lead the way from education to business idea implementation and from the employee mindset to entrepreneurial mindset. We make it a goal that all enrolees will be guided from idea generation, making of a business plan, sourcing of funds until implementation. The advocacy goes further with giving them tips for marketing strategies, bookkeeping and overall business management so their individual businesses will be successful. We were qualified for the Round 2 of Judging and we hope and pray that we could proceed to Round 3 and onwards J 

The Ongoing Challenge

Venturing into social entrepreneurship necessitates lifelong commitment, selfless effort and unwavering dedication to get things done. These challenges may be daunting and demanding but the advocacy is worth a try for the benefit of everyone concerned. Let’s embrace social entrepreneurship, practice it and may we become the catalysts of change this world has been longing for!  

Let the love begin in business. 

P.S. This is the article I wrote in the Portfolio Monthly Issue of ANG PAGSIBOL :-) 

Get a copy of the issue and enjoy reading :)