More young minds should take up the challenge of solving social problems through entrepreneurial ventures, believes IIMA alumnus and author, Rashmi Bansal.
In her latest book, ‘I Have a Dream’, Bansal explains the importance of being a social entrepreneur without really possessing an MBA degree. “It is not at all necessary to have an MBA degree, certificate or diploma to be an entrepreneur or social entrepreneur. All you need is passion, patience and flexible thinking, and these qualities do not come with any degree,” Bansal explained.
According to Bansal who is due to conduct an interactive discussion on her book on July 8 at Crossword on SG Highway, an entrepreneur is someone who creates his own destiny.
“Besides carving his or her own destiny, an entrepreneur is anyone who chooses a new path. One can either have a business idea, creative idea or a social idea, but the struggle is the same. Given the country we live in, we certainly need more and more young people to take up the challenge of solving social problems using the same kind of innovation and enthusiasm with which a company is built by a commercial entrepreneur.”
When quizzed on the importance of being a social entrepreneur in current times, Bansal replied that, “Social entrepreneurship is extremely important and the exciting thing is that there are new and sustainable models of bringing about social change. In the ‘Rainmakers’ section of my book I have looked at organisations with a social objective which operate like companies that is to say they earn their revenue and profits, but continue to bring about social change.”
She continued, “For instance, Mirakle Couriers is a company based in Mumbai which employs only deaf boys to deliver parcels. So the company makes profits but their objective is to provide employment opportunities to the deaf. The other two sections in the book feature ‘Changemakers’ and ‘Spiritual Capitalists’ also highlighting firms operating on similar lines.”
According to Bansal, an individual to become a social entrepreneur requires lot of empathy, great motivational and leadership skills and less attachment to material goods and status. In addition, as an alumnus of a top B-school in India, Bansal advises that students should learn something new everyday without following the herd.
For those venturing to become social entrepreneurs, Bansal suggests, “Reach out to organisations similar to yours. Also collaborate and learn from each other. As an entrepreneur it is important to network with people in your field internationally so you can keep abreast of the best practices. You are making a real difference to someone out there.”