Famous architect, inventor, designer, and developer of the geodesic dome R. Buckminster Fuller once said that we need to build new models that render existing models obsolete to change something. A multitude of crises plagues today’s world––climate change, food insecurity, pandemics, poverty, and many more––and so radical solutions that go against the grain of convention and bring about positive change have become the need of the hour. This is where social innovation in entrepreneurship can be a vital tool.
What is Social Innovation?
Social Innovation is the process of reimagining societal structures to make them conducive for positive and often necessary change. Such a paradigm shift can help foster new solutions for a wide range of social and environmental challenges. These include issues like:
- Social Justice
- Environmental protection
- Sustainable Development
Social Entrepreneurship, on the other hand, involves innovating and creating new products and services to address specific social or environmental concerns in a for-profit business model. Adding the flare of social innovation to entrepreneurship is another aspect of businesses addressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns through innovative practices, products, and policies. All of these go hand-in-hand, and in many cases, the lines between them are blurred.
How can Social Innovation be incorporated into Entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurs have in recent years come up with brilliant solutions to many issues, from innovative ultrafast diagnostic kits to clothing that absorbs carbon dioxide from the air to groundbreaking treatments and drugs for diseases like cancer. But it need not be as radical as that––there are relatively simpler practices that companies can adopt to bring a more socially conscious ethos to their brand. Some examples include:
- Adopting a carbon neutral or carbon negative business model
- Avoiding plastic use in products
- Empowering employees through paid leave
- Taking care and providing services for employees’ mental health
These seemingly simple practices combined with innovation are a step in the right direction. The point is that instead of focusing on shareholders as the sole beneficiary, the focus is shifted towards the wider community and the environment so that businesses are beneficial to them rather than detrimental.
Interestingly, a trend has been noticed in recent years whereby stakeholders have also been moving towards more socially conscious business models and are demanding ESG issues be at the forefront of the businesses they invest in. A study by Harvard Business Review that involved 70 executives from more than 40 global investment firms revealed that ESG concerns were at the top of their priority. According to a global survey from 2018 by London Stock Exchange subsidiary FTSE Russell, over 50% of owners of global assets include ESG policies in their investment strategies. All of these show that social innovation is now paramount to entrepreneurship.
Courses in Innovation
The importance of social innovation and entrepreneurship and its role in the betterment of society as a whole calls for courses in innovation to revamp their curriculum to be more socially conscious. Educating leaders to innovate as a force for good, rather than merely for profit, must be a key mission undertaken by educators across the country and the world to make a better place for future generations. Moreover, businesses and investors alike are readjusting their focus on addressing key ESG concerns. Therefore, incorporating social innovation into new entrepreneurial ventures is fundamental to improving the state of the world and keeping up with the competition while ensuring growth in today’s market.
At MID ID Innovation, our educators are dedicated to inculcating social values and innovation in future entrepreneurs. Our online courses in innovation and entrepreneurship offer the following benefits:
- They are geared to inspire leaders to use innovation to drive positive change in the world.
- The courses have been designed to implement design thinking and innovative strategies to create new pathways and products that accelerate global positive change and benefit society, the environment, or both.
- They will help students develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be an innovator and unlock your potential as an emerging global leader in improving the current state of the world.
- They will equip students with the tools required to get on the path of social innovation.
So if you aspire to be a global social innovation leader, take the leap and join us today!