Promoting social enterprise is a developmental advantage
Could the answer to development and other thematic issues in the global south be solved by social enterprise? The increase of small and large business corporations in the global south especially in Africa is evident in the variety of goods and services provided. The thematic issues surrounding development are complexly intertwined. The precarity of the monumental setbacks experienced in Africa and the global south, has evolved into traditions, culture, and norms. The solutions to these issues go beyond crafting and implementation of developmental policies. It requires entrenched community-based development (CBD). “We cannot solve the world’s problem with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein.
A significant challenge confronting the global south and the globe is the current warming trend. The global temperature is rising at an unprecedented level. It has led to extended drought, which has been the causalities of the surge in ethnic violence (farmers and herdsmen constantly clashing). The battle for limited ecological resources has become a zero-sum game in emerging countries. However, these under development have created sustainable pathways to tackle existing issues such as climate change, youth unemployment, increasing poverty level, while leveraging on the increase of public-private partnership participation. These new pathways that have opened from these challenges, has paved the way to address the problems through a new dimension. The neo-dimensional approach that fosters a sustainable approach towards, development, creation of value, decent chance to opportunity for all and business partnership. Whether for profit motive or not, business plays a significant role in addressing social challenges, addressing public discourse in entrepreneurial form is a mechanism to elevate Africa into a 21st -century blue and circular economy. What makes social enterprise quintessential is that, it addresses societal issues sustainably and effectively, bringing several social investors to less developed communities by ensuring a stable platform for profit or not.
The engagement method of social ventures is community-based; individual responsibilities that contribute to the economy at large are mundane, miniature and deep-rooted in communities. It establishes systems to deliver social goods and services that augment the economic prospects within the community sustainably. Challenges such as environmental degradation, rural poverty, unemployment, and urban congestion require meticulous construction of antidote, and social enterprises strategically position to provides unique and collaboratively methodologies. Another significant issue in the global south, and preeminent in Africa is that commercial and regulatory risks are deeply profound due to the enormous risk, cost of implementing policies, and partnership in the grassroots level. It has subsequently increased the barrier of entry for private and public stakeholders, most importantly, created difficulty reaching consensus on developmental policies. If not all, most social enterprises are locally based, it strengthens trust to achieve impact, this could create a unique leverage point to that fosters sustainable and holistic outline for governance, economic prosperity, security whilst balancing competing interest and delivering a positive impact.
As the socio-economic development continues to expand, developing countries are confronted with long term economic stability, whilst enduring stakeholder alignments. It is a daunting task for both the government, private sectors, individuals, and other stakeholders to sustainably align, while trying to maintain, security, regulatory and economic objective. The operational methods differ from each other and are always in a constant clash. Social enterprise aligns stakeholder’s socio-economic objective by utilizing quantifiable outcomes and using competing stakeholder incentives. The main goals of social enterprise are finding equilibrium within the constant clashing stakeholders.
Developing countries tend to overly stress the connection between trade and GPD. However, to effectively link the two together, it is imperative that rural communities outside the horizon are contributing and benefiting to this developmental growth. The approach to integrating rural communities, and rural-urban development are not mutually exclusive. Connecting rural and less privileged communities via social enterprise that delivers on innovation, and impact will augment the economic growth of the country. Africa could double its output of goods and services by simply connect the rural areas and creating value in the goods and services.
A hindrance to this, is that the logistics of reaching out to the rural areas are severely costly, this is particularly true in developing countries. However, an economic model theory (gravity economic theory) always sets in regardless of the level of isolation that rural communities are confronted with.Communities within proximity, and that are relatively close experience positive symbiotic economic activities. With the recent change in governmental administration around the world. The increase in trade barriers and tariffs have affected the global goods and services trades across borders. Trades have plunge across international borders, yet the economic outlook and forecast is indicatively optimistic. The trade intensity of goods and services within the country has increased. If the trade barriers and tariffs continue, the growing level at which extracted and manufactured goods are traded will decrease. However, the increase of services will continue to grow, due to market creation. Communities in emerging countries tend to be more extractive and will likely be affected by these increased trade barriers. With the application of social entrepreneurial skills through social enterprise, augmenting the extractive goods with value creation, will yield new economic magical experience. Creation of value tends to lead to an increase in value added of products through services. Despite the decrease of traded goods across international borders, services still show economic potential, and the creation of social enterprise, could seek the most effective and innovative way. The process of value-added creation will lead to jobs creation, market expansion, through service rendering, whilst addressing other socio-economic issues, as the objective of social enterprise states. Africa is still in the process in putting a together formidable infrastructure, that will augment the progress of the creation of value added to extractive materials, and one of the best methodologies is facilitating this speed is through community-based.
The continuous success of the social enterprise in most scenario relies on the vocational skills that will create, and value addition to products. Especially with products and service from health, agriculture, and extractive sectors. An example of a social enterprise is COMACO, a Zambian based social enterprise that createssafe haven for endangered animals, by giving farmers an alternative means of livelihood. COMACO creates a linear logistical and supply means for Zambian farmers to access higher value markets for the agricultural products produced. COMACO does the creation of value added in the agro value chain, adding finishing touches to the products (packaging.) This simple act has increased biodiversity and wildlife preservation.
As Africa and the global south continue their rapid economic development. It is imperative to develop policies that address interlocking factors with a strong connection to social issues. Is inequality going to increase as a consequence of growth? The causal loop to the socio-economic underdevelopment in the global south especially in Africa, can be addressed by adding more social enterprise that boosts social innovation, and impact through the creation of services, and addition of value to products. With the trade deal in effect in Africa, Strategizing Africa’s global strategy to meet the demand and supply with even development of rural areas through connectivity, value addition and creation in the value chain of products such as agriculture and other extractive products. Also, overhauling the service trade industry holistically to meet the 21st-century global market. It is also imperative to note that application of oversight to maintain the ethical standards of the activities of social enterprise for inclusion and protecting the stakeholders to continue the already made progress.
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