Across the continent of Africa, we are seeing more births of social Entrepreneurs, an important theme that ‘’is at the heart of what we do at GAIN’’ according to Chinwe Okoli, Founder, GAIN. To address how far social entrepreneurship has come and things that needed to influence more lives, TEG Campus 2021 hosted a panel on it.
Moderated by Aphrodice Mutangana (Deputy CEO, Digital Africa), the panel had the likes of Chinwe Okoli, JohnBosco Ezenwa (Co-Founder & Lead Business Development and Innovation Management, EMERGE), Foster Kofi Sam (Chief Vision Officer, Digital Foundation) and Oscar A. Nchaso Bekari (Founder and Managing Director, Dreams Hub).
JohnBosco Ezenwa talked about its growth on the continent and highlighted the very essence of it.
‘’Social entrepreneurship is about a group of people, community, coming together to solve a problem in their society. It is an African thing and it is growing,’’ he said. Speaking further on the topic of discussion – How Collaborations with Social Entrepreneurs are helping to make the SDGs goals a reality – he talked about the thin line between business development and social entrepreneurs, saying the first step to being the former is by being the latter.
On ways they can overcome challenges, improve perception and get more support, one key word kept resonating among the panelists, TRAINING!
On a way about how Social Entrepreneurs can overcome challenges and get more support, collaborations:
"Trainings and trainings, for social entrepreneurs. Understanding the business side of things and building a team."
John Bosco #TEG21
— Dreams Talks (@TalksDreams) July 27, 2021
Chinwe Okoli was also particular about the steps social entrepreneurs need to take in order to move forward and get the ability to expand their work and networks.
‘’One of the key battles social entrepreneurs face is the age of the organisation. New organisations tend to find it more difficult to get grants. When your organization is very young, you do not have validation yet, proof, and those come with time.’’
On a way that challenge can be overcome, she said, ‘’while looking for partners, also look for in-hand partnerships who can support you. Not only financially. Some partnerships help with validation, especially for new organisations,’’ she concluded.
Social entrepreneurs were advised to build staff capabilities, when and how to approach sponsors, alignment with vision and mission of those sponsors and the importance of understanding the business aspect of things.
As they continue to find solutions to societal situations and in response to the perception of social entrepreneurs in the society shared earlier by Oscar Nchaso, Foster Kofi Sam said, ‘’any organisation that looks at social entrepreneurs as beggars don’t really know their problems and understand what they are trying to solve.’’
Rounding up the day’s discussion, Dreams Hub founder, Oscar A. Nchaso Bekari said: ‘’we definitely need disruptive models to change the narrative, 360 degrees effective communication, increase the technological literacy which the new digital era demands, with special emphasis on the environment to mitigate changes and impact on the climate.’’
"A social entrepreneur is no other but a futurist who understands we're all responsible of building a safe, secure & sustainable environment to preserve our planet, the universe for the coming generations" — @NchasoOscar pic.twitter.com/Hrc8klhjom
— Dreams•Hub (空想中心) (@HubDreams) July 27, 2021
In all, it was an interactive and engaging panel, with the speakers sharing their experience.