I am not sure how I fancied into becoming a social entrepreneur. I was interested in entrepreneurship and the things we could do to make the world a better place if you succeed at it. I am aware entrepreneurs use metrics like profit after tax, revenues, market capital and return on investment etc. To me, social entrepreneurship is making a contribution – giving back something to the world.
I am always fond of saying that I learned the tenets of Marxian ideology in the corridors of the University but ended up being a capitalist. Yet, I strongly believe Social entrepreneurs, blend for-profit goals with generating a positive “return to society”. To me, social entrepreneurship is going further – resolving access to education in an equitable way, bridging the digital divide and making the world a more inclusive way. The goal is to resolve some real-world issues in whatever small way one can. It is with this in mind; my family and I started the Palan Foundation to support educational causes.
I have been amazed with social entrepreneurs like Bill Drayton. He defined and promoted the term ‘social entrepreneur’ itself. As the founder and current chairman of Ashoka: Innovators for the public. It is an organization that dedicates itself to find and help social entrepreneurs around the world. He works as a chairman at Community Greens, Youth Venture and Get America Working! In addition to that, The Ashoka Foundation has sponsored over 2,100 fellows in 73 different countries. Some of these companies have gone on to develop leading social businesses that have made a huge impact on communities around the world. Another is Verghese Kurien, an Indian businessman, who executed the white revolution in India that transformed the milk importing country into the world’s largest producer. In a 60-year career, he founded 30 institutions including the National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB). And, Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and created the world of micro-finance and social capitalism. Grameen Bank literally transformed the rural landscape of Bangladesh. His work with the organization landed him a Nobel Prize in 2006.