I’m a week late in linking to it, but this piece on youth social entrepreneurship by Nicholas Kristof is inspiring reading for any ambitious young organisation-builder.
Might I suggest that a common feature of social entrepreneurship examples is that they give resources directly to the people affected – and give them the main benefits flowing from the economic activities that result.
This approach can be extended well beyond these examples and I suspect it might become even more popular and become “mainstream” once it is realised it can happen.
Let me give you an example. The ACT government is about to allow its agency Actew to increase the price of water so that they have funds to pay the interest on loans they will need to build another dam. At the end of the process Actew and the lenders will own the dam. If the government acted like a social entrepreneur it would charge people more for the water but leave the ownership of the assets built with the people who paid it – and not with Actew or with the organisations who supplied the loan money.
There are powerful interests against this – like the people who now end up owning assets simply because of the way financing is organised rather than by those who paid for the asset building.
This applies to all organisations whose main capital for building the business comes from the prices people pay to for the goods and services produced – and that is most successful businesses.
Governments of course could use the model today and I would suggest a good place to start is building renewable energy systems where the extra money we pay for polluting energy is used to build renewable energy systems that are owned by the people who paid the money to build the renewable systems.
The arguments against this approach is that it is “socialist” or even “communist”. It is nothing of the sort. It is capitalism on steroids as it is the consumers (who are many) who end up with ownership rather than the controllers of capital who are fewer.
I found this particularly interesting and inspiring as I am involved, with 9 others, in planning a conference, that will hopefully lead to the formation of a Youth Policy Conference Organisation, that helps fund youth conferences. We are at the moment planning a conference concerning the Iraqi conflict. Following the two-week conference in Amman, Jordan, which will focus on drafting a youth policy regarding the future of Iraq for submission to world leaders, the participants will plan and initiate their own projects in Iraq to help build up the nation. These programs will focus on developing educational and recreational facilities for Iraqi youth so that they may mature in an environment with greater access to positive and enriching ways to spend their time. Ironically, we have received a lot of support from US politicians and a large philanthropist to help us along with the conference.
I encourage you all to visit our website at http://www.iraqusconference.org
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