Why are social entrepreneurs important and how can they reshape the Indian economy while solving the livelihood crisis

Social Entrepreneurs

By Ms. Kashvi Jindal, Founder, Invest the Change

India is home to over a billion people from a diverse range of communities and social groups.  While India has made significant progress on the global front, the majority of the population still feels overlooked or left uncatered for.

Even after 76 years of independence, our country continues to grapple with economic disparities and unmet socioeconomic needs. The potential benefits of liberalization haven’t reached everyone, leaving many people impoverished.

As of 2021, 230 million Indians live in multidimensional poverty, a condition of destitution where basic necessities are a distant dream. According to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) program, approximately 6.7% of India’s population struggle below the international poverty line of $1.25.

Shockingly, in 2019, an estimated 84% of Indians subsisted on less than $6.85 per day, accentuating the breadth of the issue. These statistics further underscore the urgency of change. And here comes the undeniable role of social entrepreneurs, who are acting like catalysts for change without having any self-profitable goals.

In a developing country like ours, social entrepreneurs can play a very important role in reshaping the economy and solving livelihood issues. By addressing gaps and unmet social needs, social entrepreneurs create dramatic transformation, and that too in a society where traditional businesses fail. They explore business opportunities that have a positive impact on society and promote the greater good, not just the pursuit of profits.

This increases the output and generates wealth at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid and is instrumental in cultivating self-sufficiency among populations that have been historically underserved, overlooked, or marginalized. It is within this very demographic that the influence of social entrepreneurs becomes most pronounced.

Their interventions not only provide essential support but also empower these communities to transcend their limitations and chart a course toward self-reliance.

A lot of social enterprises work in underprivileged communities or sectors with where the rate of unemployment is significantly high. By creating job opportunities and offering skills development training, they contribute to the economic development at local level and improve the lives of those in need.

Social entrepreneurs often look forward to segments that were not explored by anyone else prior to them. Their new and significant approach often leads to development of products, services and drives the economic growth further. Social entrepreneurs act as catalysts in society and thus lead social improvement by becoming examples for others.

In addition to this, they attract financial resources from a variety of sources like investors, philanthropic groups and sometimes from government agencies as well. This capital supports their future activities and their mission to bring about a positive change.

Social entrepreneurs work religiously with the localities to come up with solutions that are appropriate for their needs, which further creates a culture of learning and adaptability, resulting in economic development.

Hence, we can say that social entrepreneurs drive economic growth by resolving social setbacks, encouraging developments, creating job opportunities, attracting investments and empowering the marginalized groups of the society.

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Their efforts show that economic development and social effect may work in collaboration to create a better and prosperous society.