In Colombia it is time for us to start talking about social entrepreneurship for development, understanding that conventional or commercial entrepreneurship are all those business ideas
that seek to create needs and that social entrepreneurship are those ideas that seek to solve social problems on issues such as environment, violence against women, culture, sports, job creation, among other issues, in many cases with business strategies.
In this sense, social enterprises are new businesses and companies that seek social changes. For this they use creativity and innovation to attract financial, commercial, educational and service benefits in favor of the community. Yes, they are businesses, but with an emphasis on human and social values. Beyond being lucrative, they focus on working and improving social capital to promote inclusion and participation that lead to change.
It is time for us to start working with social enterprises for their growth and sustainability. They are the ones that will mobilize the development of the territories, which will allow historically vulnerable and marginalized communities to create opportunities to transform realities that help them to build a different future. Social ventures are the path because they respond to the needs of local contexts.
A recent study by The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) indicates that 3.2 percent of the enterprises in the world’s economies are social. Likewise, it indicates that 5 out of 10 people involved in a social enterprise, in general, have projects that are currently operating and reinvest profits through social goals configured by the activity, organization or initiative.
Of the world’s social entrepreneurs, 55 percent are men and 45 percent are women. The gap is small, while in commercial entrepreneurship the difference is 2 to 1, which means that in social entrepreneurship they are closer to gender equality than in commercial entrepreneurship.
The GEM also indicates that in Colombia, 8.7 percent of the population is involved in social enterprises that are beginning and 5.9 percent in social enterprises that are being developed. That is, almost 14 percent of the country’s population is related to a social enterprise.
In Recon, more than 1,000 social initiatives have been identified throughout the country, of which 39.5 percent are cultural initiatives, 21.4 percent are related to education, 13.1 percent are job-generating, 7.8 percent percent are related to the environment, and 5.8 percent, with technology and communications. Most of them work with vulnerable populations such as women, victims of the conflict, afro-descendants, indigenous people, ex-combatants and LGTBI population.
Social ventures are a growing business model and aim to be commercial businesses for social development in the country. For this reason we are working for their identification, support and strengthening, with the purpose of making them sustainable with the use of technological strategies in a large digital community-www.reconcolombia.org-, thanks to the support of Sweden and USAID.
Our work is aligned with the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the 2030 Agenda.
We believe that by supporting and strengthening the social enterprises that emerge from the communities, we can achieve the SDGs and, above all, build a different and better future for the next generations.
ANDRÉS SANTAMARÍA GARRIDO
CEO of RECON
By: El Tiempo
See note HERE