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Successful Social Entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurship is an emerging trend, but there are already some very successful organizations in this field.
Chances are about every country in the world has proverbial
variations on the saying that it's better to teach the hungry
to feed themselves than to simply give them
food. The emerging industry of social
entrepreneurship is taking this proverb to heart.
Today, we see the emergence of a different trend in international development. Rather than going big or small, some organizations advocate going in the middle. Rather than invest in large and expensive projects or provide funds that are too small to foster further growth, one can assist citizens in developing countries in building their own successful and self-sustainable businesses. What is needed here is sharing entrepreneurial and business knowledge and skills and providing entrepreneurs in developing countries with start-up funds. And they will take it from there.
This approach has come to be known as social entrepreneurship
and rapidly became a trendy - and most importantly, effective
- way to address global poverty. A number
of social entrepreneurship organizations have achieved
remarkable results with this philosophy and are leading the
way in enabling poverty-stricken populations with
self-sufficient ways to promote
Endeavor supports emerging-market entrepreneurs through a rigorous process of selection and guidance. Every-six months Endeavor scouts the world for potentially high-impact ventures by entrepreneurs in developing countries. Endeavor then supports selected entrepreneurs with specialized programs in business plan and strategy development, personalized mentoring, management workshops, and networking. This model turned Endeavor into a bright success. To-date, 25,583 value-added jobs have been created by Endeavor entrepreneurs and only in 2004 Endeavor entrepreneurs have generated $839 million in revenue.
Established by a highly regarded change-maker Bill Drayton, Ashoka envisions a world where everyone is a change-maker and promotes a three-tier strategy to the success of this vision. Ashoka supports social entrepreneurs across the world and helps them succeed, builds networks of entrepreneurs and develops patterns of effective collaboration. In addition, Ashoka provides social entrepreneurs with access to social finances and bridges them to business and academic sectors.
Created in 2001 with seed capital from the Cisco Systems Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and three individual philanthropists, the Acumen Fund is a global non-profit venture fund using entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty. The Acumen Fund works to build financially sustainable and scalable organizations that deliver affordable, critical goods and services to the betterment of the lives of the poor. Through the work of the Fund, 5 million Tanzanians have been protected from Malaria, 3,500 Pakistani squatters housed in secure communities, and 7,000 Indian farmers gained access to irrigation.
Founded in 1968 by Connecticut businessman Ed Bullard, TechnoServe identifies entrepreneurs in emerging markets and develops them through training, mentoring and networking. TechnoServe also provides access for entrepreneurs to relevant and applicable market information. It guides entrepreneurs in the process of building managerial capacity, developing business plans, raising financing and penetrating markets. This comprehensive guidance helped TechnoServe beneficiaries generate nearly $50 million in sales in 2005, $6 million in employee wages, and $34 million in farmer revenues.
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