It’s the latest buzzword and the theme of our South Africa program, but what is it?
Social entrepreneurship is a simpler concept than you might think. The name is new, but the concept—combining the passion of a social mission with business-like discipline and innovation—has been around for a long time. Have you ever bought shoes from Toms? Then you’ve purchased something from a social enterprise. Heard of Teach for America? Also social entrepreneurship, of a different sort. GLA programs themselves are the product of collaboration among several social entrepreneurs.
Today’s social entrepreneurs have as much creativity, passion, energy and appetite for innovation as traditional entrepreneurs, but they are looking to use it to solve the world’s problems and maximize social value over profits, and often to do so on a grand scale.
Alyssa Rose, Co-Founder, Radiate Market
Radiate strives to reimagine the way we shop. By providing artists in developing regions an online platform to sell their handmade goods to a larger and more consistent market, Radiate aims to help these artisans develop financial security and gain a position of respect within their community.
Kenneth Wah, Founder, Robo Ghana
Kenneth started Robo Ghana to inspire village students to pursue higher education and STEM careers. In its first year, team members traveled to a partner school in Ghana with LEGO Mindstorm kits, and instructed students on how to design, build and program their own EV3 Robots.
London Vallery, Co-Founder, Living for Living
Living for Living is an open source community where anyone can read about interesting projects and inventions, and be inspired to start their own world-changing initiatives. London herself has created a pedal-powered washer adapted for use in developing countries, and hopes to make it accessible to those communities via U.S. sponsorships.
Sarah Pellerin, Co-Founder, Lumbrick
Lumbrick aims to improve the lives of refugees in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp with an alternative fuel source. By teaching them to make and sell a biodegradable briquette made from maize leaves and cobs, Lumbrick hopes refugees can create their own sustainable heat source and also generate an income.
How do I become a social entrepreneur?
The first step is identifying a social problem in need of a solution—access to education, sustainable food chains, public health issues, social inequality, climate action, and women’s and girls’ rights are just a few of the many causes worthy of our generation’s attention.
Then, learn how to address the root cause and to influence systemic change. Social enterprises may start small, but have the power to persuade entire societies to shift, if their campaigns, products, and businesses are successful.
GLA’s program in South Africa is the perfect way to learn the nuts and bolts of social entrepreneurship in a safe, supportive environment. Students live on a global campus with peers from around the world, explore social enterprises in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and are mentored by faculty on topics like leadership and design thinking. We’re currently awarding $500 Service Grants toward tuition to students who enroll in our South Africa program. To redeem, enter scholarship code 2017SOUTHAFRICA at enrollment.
Global Leadership Adventures as a social enterprise
It’s no coincidence that we are passionate about training future social entrepreneurs: Our company, Terra Education, is a social enterprise itself. We think that travel and the experience of volunteering abroad can inspire world-changing ideas and innovations. Each trip leads to creative answers to global questions, and often plants the seed for social entrepreneurship in the minds of young leaders.