Well the terminology is new to the Arab world. People are not used to creating businesses that are based on helping people and the environment and if they do it will be based on individual social life and people who love to help and use their own money in doing that.
Here is what Wiki says about Social enterprise:
I am not talking about charity organizations, as that is a seperate category altogether, social enterprises make money but good money as it comes from making people benefit from the product and the service. Also most of the ideas come from the young minds. Few social enterprises where thought of by guys like us, maybe because we have bills to pay. Or maybe we as oldies look for more profits if compared to the young.
I mentioned that we have a definition problem in the Arab world! Well that is only one part of the problem. So when I attended the forum speaking about the social enterprise I gathered some facts from the experts:
1. SE means Systemic change or long term value production
2. How can we create a business that is socially effective? You need imagination and creativity of course. We look at the market at sustainability and innovation and to become a problem solver.
3. Social entrepreneurs need scale and continuity and suffer lack of resources.
4. In USA these organizations are called benefit corporations. It’s different to non for profit and they have a
5. Thus we are stuck with Licensing for SE. What sort of regulations are needed and taking the issue of transparency into account.
6. Most SEs suffer Lack of capital. And high costs for startups. Also no laws for bankruptcy
Starting an SE is a journey. But only ten percent of SE’s continue.
In the UAE alone there are 560 SE! Quite a number considering the wake up to producing things to help others.
The panel was a preview to the second youth in social enterprise award. Last year the winners got prices for a variety of products and services such as healthy lunch boxes for school children, hearing aid that is waterproof and a website linking entrepreneurs and angel investors. I cannot wait to see what this year thoughts is going to bring to the fore. I must thanks Emirates foundation in making this prize as it provides and awareness of good practices and gives the youth a chance to apply their ideas.