Giving Back, Work
It’s a business concept that’s catching on, and it’s especially relevant if you’re starting a new career as your own boss. Social entrepreneurship is based on the idea that a business can have a social mission as well as a material one. For instance Auto Share, a company that allows members to use cars whenever they need them, is not just there to provide a service and make money – it has an environmental mission. Allyson Hewitt is the directtor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Mars Centre in Toronto:
“You say ‘there’s a problem, I’m not happy with how the environment is’, ‘I’m not happy with the issue of homelessness’, ‘I’m not happy about violence in youth’ – those are some of the challenges that are out there, and then you figure out that you’ve got an innovative way to deal with it. You may have an idea, you may have seen something wokr somewhere else in the world and you want to bring it to Canada, and then you go about doing it. Sometimes its a strictly for-profit with a social mission, and sometimes its a not-for-profit that also generates income.”
You sart a social enterprise like any other business – with the help of mentors, a good business plan and some seed capital.