Recently there have been some significant changes in the way people think about social entrepreneurship (SE):
- The CEO of Ashoka is encouraging social organizations to focus more on entrepreneurship as a means to create scalable solutions to problems
- The Skoll Forum is advocating " “Good enough” solutions are worth pursuing" (looks a lot like MVP-minimum viable product)
- Clayton Christensen's "disruptive innovation",which involves developing products for unserved or underserved markets, is the new mantra to solve social problems
All of this talk would make one think that the do gooders have become entrepreneurs. However, these folks still miss one important concept--focus. If you read an article say about solving world hunger, somebody always mentions:
- natural fertilizer
- non-paper food packaging
- seeds of a certain type
- the CO2 issues in transporting the food
- abusive labor practices
None of these issues actually put any food in anyone's stomach, but the do gooders seem to think they are equally important...at least to them. To avoid this recurring lack of focus in social organizations, I have found a solution. No, it is not robots. The solution is rocks. Yes rocks.
After researching over 120 countries I cannot find one NGO, non-profit foundation or government agency that cares about or advocates for rocks. Therefore, I am starting a worldwide movement "Rock the Rock". Here's how the movement works. Whenever you have a problem in your social project, consider rocks.
- Need a non-wood packaging, consider rocks
- Need re-useable dishes for food, consider rocks
- Violence against women, consider rocks
- Reduce CO2 emissions, use rocks (no CO2)
- Need to create jobs, switch to rock mining (of course with no machinery)
Rocks are extremely flexible in their application to social problems and they will allow you to focus on the real problems-- hunger, healthcare and education.
So to understand where social entrepreneurship has evolved to, we just need to remember "Rock Entrepreneurship" or "focus" in other words.