Social Entrepreneurship: Indian Women Shine In Social Ventures

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.

How To Define Entrepreneurial Spirit

The entrepreneurial spirit is often difficult to define let alone examine in detail because of its perception as a highly creative and dynamic entity and it is with this caveat that this article is written.

Whilst the entrepreneurial spirit can be applied to a wide range of disciplines and professionals it is perhaps most closely associated with the world of business and incorrectly used to describe many successful business people, when in fact very few individuals can truly demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit.

Historical Context of the meaning of entrepreneur

The word itself is French in origin and if interpreted in its literal context means “between jobs”. It is interesting that a word that has come to project the very pinnacle of success should have such mundane roots as a means of describing being unemployed.

This article examines a number of concepts that appear intrinsic to what constitutes entrepreneurial spirit

1. Uniqueness

In a highly developed global business community where new ideas and business models are increasingly in short supply the importance of uniqueness cannot be under estimated and those exhibiting an entrepreneurial spirit are often associated with concepts that encapsulate originality and ingenuity. Take for example, Steve Jobs bringing the Apple IPOD to the market,

2. Creativity

Creativity is heavily connected to uniqueness but the two are not identical. Individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit are experienced at harnessing the creative process to help them produce a unique product /service or advantage. So where as uniqueness describes the end outcome, creativity describes the process of how one achieves it. For this reason those with an entrepreneurial spirit are often creative individuals who are ready, willing and able to actively adopt new techniques to get ahead even at the expense of being ridiculed by others.

3. Risk Taking

In a western society that is so often risk averse, those with entrepreneurial spirit embrace risk taking and it is impossible for such a concept not to be associated with entrepreneurs and the often high risk potential involved in following a new cutting edge approach. It must be observed however that risk is not the same as recklessness and those demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit are likely to be adept at assessing the risks involved in any undertaking.

4. Business Savy

As highlighted previously those with entrepreneurial spirit should not be considered as reckless mavericks indeed quite the opposite, good entrepreneurs are motivated by profit and are skilled at identifying a lucrative niche in the market that can be exploited for profit. Take for example, Steve Jobs at Apple Computers who has successfully navigated a profitable course in the computing and software industry despite the market being dominated by Microsoft and IBM for a number of decades. In addition he was the first to spot the potential of utilising the computing industry to open a new market to the music fraternity , with the introduction of the IPOD, the market leader in its business stream. Such actions requires great skill and confidence and demonstrate a clear entrepreneurial spirit.

5. Developing Potential

Identifying, Investing in and nurturing potential are also essential to the ideals attached associated with entrepreneurial spirit because of the need to find differing solutions to a business problem.

Established businesses often fail to discover breakthroughs because they stick to a rigid investment formula that has worked for them in the past rather than finding new ways of moving forward.

6. Adaptability

The entrepreneurial spirit is always adaptable and ready to overcome barriers presented by business problems and is usually quicker at resolving those issues than mainstream business thinkers.

7. Ultimately Destructive

Entrepreneurial spirit is ultimately destructive to its own business in the medium term unless those engaged in utilizing the concept recognize when it is time to handover to mainstream management focussed individuals who can maintain and develop the organisation. This is because true entrepreneurial spirit is obsessed with constant creativity and change which is unsettling to employees without good management and a clear direction. Many of those demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit rarely stay long term in any enterprise they undertake, take Richard Branson for example who after launching numerous businesses under the “Virgin” brand has subsequently sold on many of these to third parties at a huge profit to himself.

Summary

In conclusion whilst there are certainly key characteristics which encapsulate the entrepreneurial spirit it would be foolish to pretend that any one individual has all those traits and even more foolish to believe that such a concept can be comprehensively defined. It is also short sighted to believe that those with entrepreneurial spirit are only evident in the business community, indeed many different disciplines and vocations have historical and existing individuals contained within them that could be essentially described as entrepreneurs.

Well Known individuals exhibiting the entrepreneurial spirit : Richard Branson, Clive Sinclair, Freddy Laker, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Anita Roddick.

Words often used to describe individuals with entrepreneurial spirit : Mavericks, Tycoons, pathological liars, risk takers, self made business people, successful, charismatic.

Building Your Business – Are Politics and Peacemaking Mutually Exclusive?

It is easy to assume that all politics and peacemaking can be mutually exclusive. The truth is that there are many situations that in order to keep the peace, politics may be involved or even get in the way. Where there is a dispute of uncommon interests, whether it is to gain control, power or leadership that is politics. God teaches us on how “we should be” if we are to be His children. As human beings created by God we are asked to be images of the Father. In doing so, we bring peace to ourselves and to others.

In many organizations, there are internal conflicts, and even key leaders begin to make their case and use politics in what they hope may either bring the peace or put an end to what they believe is disrupting their peace. Vice Presidents will threaten other departments by flexing their control should those departments not do as they are told. When we discuss politics, we discuss the policies and processes that are brought up for debate. These same policies dictate the path towards peacemaking as a societal whole. But it is also important to remember that it also brings about additional conflict within the groups and hence another opportunity for peacemaking. Take a look at what took place in Ireland in 1997.

“In August of 1997, less than a month after the second cease-fire took hold in Northern Ireland, thousands of Presbyterian pastors and lay leaders gathered in Belfast to make a, historic public recommitment to peacemaking between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Michael Cassidy, a South African evangelical influential in producing open elections and the end to apartheid in South Africa, challenged them to a new level of personal responsibility for bringing about reconciliation and tolerance. At his invitation, nearly two-thirds of the 3,000 in the audience stood up to signal their pledge to peacemaking. Earlier this year, the Anglican Church of Ireland took similar steps when its general synod voted to condemn the presence of sectarian views within their denomination and to conduct an inquiry to determine how severe the problem is” (Morgan, 1997).

Without politics they would not have taken the additional steps to really determine what the problem was and rededicate themselves towards peace. But there are other examples where politics and peacemaking are not mutually exclusive. Take the military for example. Our leaders wage war on other countries that have different political views than ours. We are sent to war using force. And only as the victor can we then define what we believe peace to be. Whose war were we fighting? Whose definition of peace were we attaining? Ours, the people, another nations?

What Can an Entrepreneur Learn From the NCAA Championships?

March Madness has again come and gone. Ending in a crescendo of applause and excitement that is rife with new opportunity for the players. The players can celebrate their new success and begin to look forward optimistically to whatever new challenges they will face next in their lives. Their success in basketball no doubt came from the hard work, determination, desire to overcome obstacles, risk taking and many other personal values needed to become a champion athlete. Who knows what new journey these athletes lives may take. Some will no doubt go on to find further basketball success in the NBA and begin lives as a professional athletes. Eventually however, they will all retire from basketball and move on to other endeavors. How will the values that made them champions help them later in life?

Most people have been involved with sports at some level (even if not at the NCAA Championship level) and therefore are able to understand the kind of effort it takes to succeed in sports. They recognize that an athlete may have natural talent but they also know how much work it takes to become a champion athlete. Hard work, determination, the desire to overcome obstacles, risk taking; these are the values it takes to become a champion and they are also the values it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Some athletes are able to carry these values over into their next career but others are never able to make the transition.

Likewise, there are people who think becoming a successful entrepreneur comes simply from being in the right place at the right time or because the entrepreneur happens to come from a well connected family. But most successful entrepreneurs, like successful athletes, would say success in business takes the same type of hard work, determination, the desire to overcome obstacles, and risk taking that you see in an athlete. Are there lessons we can learn from sports examples to learn how to apply these same values when applied to business.

We hear lots of sports success stories but they all seem to end once the championship game is over. Unfortunately, most sports stories are cliff hangers that leave us to wonder what the rest of the athletes life will be like. We don’t know whether the values that brought them to the championship was a onetime affair or if the athlete is able to transition these values into the next phase of his or her life with that same level of determination? What would happen if the story were to continue and we were able to follow the life of a champion athlete to see how he transitioned the values that led to his earlier success in sports into entrepreneurial values that brought similar success in business? If we were to look at the lives of one of these athletes, would we find lessons there that could help other non-athletes learn these same entrepreneurial values and understand how to apply them in their own lives?

One of the lessons we might learn comes from an athlete’s willingness to try over and over again. If they lose one game, they don’t quit but rather come back and work harder the next time. We know that athletes don’t usually compete in just a single event. In their sports career they compete in many tournaments and championship events. They apply the same values over and over to become serial champions in the same way serial entrepreneurs build winning businesses over and over. Successful entrepreneurs don’t quit just because one thing doesn’t work for them. They come back, apply what they’ve learned from the loss and then start over again.

Athletes know that overcoming obstacles is part of the game. If one play doesn’t work they continue to try another and another until they find a way to succeed. Successful entrepreneurs need to do the same thing when the obstacle to their success seems too great. Just like an athlete, “no” should not be an option. Successful entrepreneurs continue to search until they find the path to success. Entrepreneurs know that business is not a game and must also understand that winning means learning and applying these entrepreneurial values over and over.

How To Spot The 4 Types Of Workers You Need In Your Dream Team

In order for your Dream Team to work in creative harmony, you need 4 types of workers.

Step 1: Project Categories

In the One Minute Millionaire, Hansen and Allen describe how Allen Fahden and Marie West break project-oriented work into four main categories.  These are:

  • Solutions: This is all about identifying ideas and options to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities
  • Strategies: This is about taking your highest-priority idea and deciding on a plan of action
  • Analysis: This is the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ bit!  Brainstorm what could go wrong with your solution
  • Results: This is where you create a system to carry out your plan of action and then you do it!

Step 2: Match The Worker To The Category

Hansen and Allen describe four types of workers that correlate with the four categories above.

These are:

 Hares: These are the creative, ideas types.  They often prefer to leave the ‘follow-through’ to others.

 Owls: These are the “Give me an idea and I’ll show you the plan and strategy’ types.  They love making connections too.

Turtles: These are the traditionalists.  They don’t like taking risks and have a talent for anticipating problems, hence saving the team time and money by addressing the issues early on.

 Squirrels: These are the organizational types who love the detailed, step-by-step work.

In order to build a dream team, you must have people of each type to perform the duties and tasks within each of the four categories.

Hansen and Allen state that if your team lacks one type you will be in danger.  If your team lacks two of the types, you ‘face disaster’!

You will also find that most people, including yourself, have one primary work style, for example the Hare, and one secondary one, for example the Owl.

If your team consists of two people, you and one other, you should ideally have a combination of all four types between you; for example, Hare/Owl plus Turtle/Squirrel or the combination of Hare/Turtle and Owl/Squirrel.

So this is what HOTS stands for…Hares, Owls, Turtles and Squirrels!

Step 3: Take The HOTS Test!

The way you match yourself and each team member to the type that fits with one of the four categories is by identifying the strengths that match each one.

This is easy because Hansen and Allen have designed a free diagnostic instrument, available on their website, that reveals people’s strengths.

Koool!

So go to the website of the One Minute Millionaire, click on Tools and then select the HOTS Survey and identify your strengths. Then make sure each of your team members do it too!

I’m a Hare.  What are you?  What difference will it make to you now, knowing what other types of people you need to look for to build your dream team?

Business Problems? Use A Mind Map To Solve Them

A mind map is a process of writing things down in a way that makes a map of your ideas and thoughts. You can use shapes, symbols, and more to represent different points and ideas. This makes it easy to look at and digest quickly because it makes your main idea the central part of the map.

Change It Up

When problem solving, you want to change a few things. For example, you’ll want a new solution to the problem to be the central idea of your mind map. Ensure that you add resources for solving the problem. For example, money, people, and technology.

Remember that one problem may have more than one solution. By separating out each solution, including all the resources you’ll need, and noting the roadblocks, you’ll be able to choose the right solution for your problem more easily.

Once you notice the main solution that you need to implement, or you’ve identified a couple of solutions that work together, you can make more branches to the details of the solution and how you want to implement it.

Understanding The Bigger Picture

Putting all the information in one spot is going to help you look at the problem through new eyes that understand the big picture more. Using an online cloud-based mind mapping solution can also help you make a cleaner more useful mind map, because you won’t have anything marked out when you look at it.

Mind maps are good for both big-picture thinking and narrowing down things to target. For example, on a solutions mind map, you’re going to end up with steps to the solutions you’ve chosen, and then be able to go right out and start adding tasks to your calendar so you can be successful.

Even if you’re not naturally creative, you can learn to be more creative by developing your creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Problem Solving is A Process

Problem-solving skills are important both in the workplace and in your private life. Whether you work for yourself or others, you’ll need to be open to solving problems. You’ll want to develop your mental, analytical and creative skills if you want to be a good problem solver because you’ll need to be able to think logically, put things in order, and evaluate whether a solution is right for a problem or not.

When you can identify issues, understand the stakeholders’ points, list all the solutions you can think of, evaluate them, and then select one (and one step further – implement it), then you’re going to be a good problem solver that others seek out. Being creative helps because your mind will be more open to new possibilities and potential.

During Industrial Revolution 4.0 Era, Palm Oil Plantation Have to Implement Digital Technology

At this time the world is in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) which is characterized by the implementation of artificial intelligence, super computer, big data, cloud computation, and digital innovation that occurs in the exponential velocity that will directly impact to the economy, industry, government, and even global politics.

The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is characterized by a smart industrialization process that refers to improved automation, machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication, artificial intelligence (AI), and the development of sustainable digital technology.

Industrial Revolution 4.0 is also interpreted as an effort to transform the process of improvement by integrating the production line (production line) with the world of cyber, where all production processes run online through internet connection as the main support.

Road Map to Industrial 4.0 in Palm Oil Industry

In Indonesia the application of industry 4.0 is expected to increase productivity and innovation, reduce operational costs, and efficiency that led to increase the export of domestic products. In order to accelerate the implementation of Industry 4.0, Indonesia has developed a roadmap for industry 4.0 by establishing five manufacturing sectors that will be a top priority in its development, including food and beverage industry, automotive, electronics, textiles and chemicals.

The five industry sectors are favored considering that they have shown their great contribution to the national economic growth. For example, the food and beverage industry, especially the palm oil industry, has a market share with growth reaching 9.23% in 2017. In addition, the industry also became the largest foreign exchange contributor from the non-oil sector which reached up to 34.33% in year 2017.

The magnitude of the contribution of the food and beverage industry sector can also be seen from the value of exports reaching 31.7 billion US dollars in 2017, even having a trade balance surplus when compared with the import value of only US $ 9.6 billion. This figure also places the palm oil industry as the largest foreign exchange contributor to the country.

In order to increase productivity and efficiency optimally, the technology supporting the industrial revolution 4.0 is imperative to implement, including the implementation of Internet of Things (IOT), Advance Robotic (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digitalized Infrastructure (DI).

The structural transformation from the agricultural sector to the industrial sector has also increased per capita income and driven Indonesians from agrarian to economies that rely on an industry-driven value-added process accelerated by the development of digital technology.

In the context of this industrial revolution 4.0, the palm oil industry sector needs to immediately clean up, especially in the aspect of digital technology. This is considering the mastery of digital technology will be the key that determines the competitiveness of Indonesia.

Because if not, then the Indonesian palm oil industry will be increasingly left behind from other countries. If we do not improve our capabilities and competitiveness in priority sectors, we will not only be able to reach the target but will be overridden by other countries that are better prepared in the global and domestic markets.

Digitalization Era in Palm Oil Industry

As a major player in the global palm oil industry, Indonesia needs to clean up soon. Absolute process and operational efficiency is immediately undertaken especially concerning activities involving many manpower such as field work (infield activity) such as crop maintenance, land treatment, fertilizing activity, weeding, harvesting and transporting fruit to weighing and sorting. This is because in this sector there is often time and cost inefficiency.

Digital technology has facilitated a lot of work in the palm oil industry. Now no longer need to make statistical data collected from a number of palm plantations manually. Ease and other advantages of digital technology is able to capture images or photos of fresh fruit bunches, as well as precise location of the garden using a tablet that can access the GPS.

That way, field managers can not only easily track and monitor real-time activity in the garden, but they can also see for themselves the quality of the palm fruit and know exactly which areas are experiencing the problem. And incredibly, it does not need their presence on the field.

In addition to the ease of transferring data from the field to the Excel sheet on the computer and also making reports on the quality of the palm fruit, digitization also facilitates in recording the presence of employees and field workers to then process the data for the purposes of remuneration and incentives.