Monday, March 03, 2008

Millennials and Social Enterprise

Jeff Cornwall has an excellent (short) analysis of social entrepreneurship in yesterday's Tennessean. The two sentence version of what makes a social entrepreneurship is this:
Social entrepreneurs are increasingly approaching social change in a different way than we've seen in the past. Rather than rely on fundraising and grants from foundations to grow large nonprofits, these young social entrepreneurs attempt to blend free market capitalism with their favorite social causes.
Jeff goes on to highlight why such endeavors seem attractive to young people today"
Several surveys have found that many people in this generation don't believe that government is the most effective means to solve many of today's social problems — the private sector offers more efficient and effective solutions.
Cornwall continues:
The millennial generation is beginning to show some of the same social activism as their baby boomer parents had in the 1960s and 1970s. But, this generation believes so strongly in entrepreneurial free market capitalism that it is entrusting not only its own economic future to it, but the betterment of our society and culture, as well.
I meet more and more people under the age of 30 who are venturing out on their own, seeking to create positive social change. It will be an interesting and exciting time to watch the creative solutions that the most creative generation will initiate in order to address our biggest problems. And the beauty of it all doesn't just lie in its efficiency, it's marketability or its ease. It lies in its ingenuity.

Status quo, the exit is over there...

Comments (2)

Interesting concept; your post inspired me to discuss some of the implications of this new trend in my blog; http://emilytormey.wordpress.com. As a young millennial myself, I agree that corporations seem quicker-footed and more responsive to market changes and needs than government. Their flexibility, coupled with the sustainability fostered by profit-driven management, makes them seem like a great answer to the demand for positive social and environmental change.

Thanks, Emily. I agree. I think your key word above is the word 'sustainability.' For-profit processes tend to me more sustainable than nonprofit tactics and mechanisms.