By Shreya Banerjee and Manoswini Sarkar:
We, as humans, are supposed to stand by one another and social entrepreneurship is the modern, industrial and technical way of doing so. Social entrepreneurship is using the techniques used by startup companies and other entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.
We are living in the rat race of the 21st century where we are too busy with our own lives. Given this scenario, social entrepreneurship has opened up the door for helping each other in a professional way.
The field of social entrepreneurship is growing rapidly and gaining a lot of attention from other fields as well. The reasons for this are plenty. Social entrepreneurship signals the imperative to drive social change, and it is that potential payoff, with its lasting transformational benefit to society that sets the field and its practitioners apart.
Social innovators are always looking for solutions to pressing societal issues. As a result, they have to come up with new, sustainable and inventive ways to respond to these issues.
For encouraging young minds to think more and consider and create new social entrepreneurship ideas, one of India’s premium universities, Jadavpur University, organised it’s own one of a kind social entrepreneurship event called “Ideas For Change“, in association with Dainik Jagran.
In the event, a team of three to four people had to pitch in their ideas for problem solving in the following domains – poverty alleviation, women’s empowerment, environmental conservation, water conservation, human resource development, health or education.
Sixteen teams participated and pitched in their ideas some of which were brilliant plans. Some were economic ideas whereas others were creative plans.
One of the teams, ‘Easy-worship’, gave a plan for selling traditional ‘dashokorma’ stuff (all the essentials for puja items and puja tray) online to bring back the essence of tradition to urban areas.
Another team, ‘Pulp Tub’, represented the idea of utilising bulk amount of tomatoes produced in north and north eastern India, making puree out of it to sell it to the ketchup companies.
A team drew attention to the issue of rape cases by cab drivers and proposed the idea of an app with the added feature of female driver for female passengers.
Some of them focused on medical issues, some of them talked about exclusive online education centres and the list of ideas were comprehensive and exhaustive of almost all the social issues.
At the end of the day, team ‘Organico’ grabbed the 2nd prize with their structured idea of organic farming.
But the team which stood out from the rest was Team ‘Gattibu Food Tech Pvt Ltd’ who cut the cake with the fabulous idea of packing exotic spices and fruits (like kiwi, orange, almond) from the eastern and north eastern states of India with exclusive GI tags and selling them to supermarkets. The representatives of the team are already associated with big firms like Big Bazaar and Spencer’s and, as a startup, they are doing very well.
What made the event stand out from the other events of its type were the prizes involved. The team which came first won a cash prize of ₹10,000 and the second team won a cash prize of ₹5,000.
But like all the other competitions, some won prizes and some learnt. Even if they couldn’t win anything, all of the participants agreed that they learnt a lot about business planning from their fellow contenders and respected judges.
Colleges and universities should encourage more extracurricular activities and events of these kinds. Students get to learn more and think more apart from their curriculum, which helps them in the future to become better citizens or entrepreneurs, making the nation a better place.