Social entrepreneurship is a vast field of work that deals with identifying a social problem and then giving it an entrepreneurial solution. On doing this, the main goal of a social entrepreneur is to bring positive changes in the society.
Women have always been associated with social entrepreneurship in some form. The work of Florence Nightingale practically gave birth to the concept of nursing as we know in the modern world, and can be cited as one of the best examples of women’s contribution to social entrepreneurship.
The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is now a booming sector. Everywhere, women are leaving fat paychecks to jump on the entrepreneur bandwagon for their personal satisfaction. Some do it just to hone their passion while others do it to bring about a social change. The latter are known as social entrepreneurs. They use their intelligence to merge business with social welfare.
The statistics and surveys speak volumes about the relationship of women and social entrepreneurship in today’s world. In the United States alone, 38 percent of all the companies are owned by women, thus contributing annual sales of about $ 3.6 trillion to the economy.
Similar figures show up in the Europe and Asian corporate sectors, blurring the concept of gender discrimination to a large extent. Many women have even made it to impressive power lists compiled by the likes of Forbes and Fortune magazine.
But if you think that they’re doing well only in clichéd “feminine” sectors like cosmetics and fashion designing, then you’re in for surprise. Some of the crème de la crème positions of multinational banks, soft drink companies and stock-broking organizations are occupied by women. And they do not just talk profits.
Many of the top contributors of NGOs and other non-profit organizations are female entrepreneurs. Even these NGOs are run by socially-driven women who invest their contributions in various causes.
Indian Women In Social Ventures
India is fast growing in this aspect and being one of the most populated countries in the world, the demand and scope of social entrepreneurship is greater here than anywhere else.
Our country has no dearth of inspiring initiatives and shining examples set by women social entrepreneurs. Here are some examples of Indian women who have initiated social ventures.
Ela Bhatt founded the grassroot development initiative, SEWA, which worked for the simultaneous social and economic empowerment of women at the grassroots level. She is also the leader of the International Labour Cooperative Women’s Microfinance movement.
Shilpi Kapoor’s initiative, Breakbarrier Technologies, aims to make technology solutions accessible to the differently abled
Neelam Chhibber’s Industree Crafts, works for the emancipation of local artisans by connecting them to viable markets.
Revathi Roy started ForShe, a taxi service run entirely by women.
Vijaya Patsala founded Under The Mango Tree, an organization that promotes beekeeping among women farmers, and with the goal of making women more financially independent and self-sustained.
Women have always been passionate about the society around them. This is evident by their active participation in NGOs and other non-profit organizations. But with their growing confidence and exposure to the world around them, they are now taking their passion to a higher and broader level by running large-scale, successful social ventures.