Entrepreneurship and Social Impact in the Middle East — Business as Unusual?

Friday, May 17, 2013

It is a striking feature of the growing startup ecosystems in the Middle East that the lines between “entrepreneurship” and “social entrepreneurship” — that is, entrepreneurship that makes a social impact — often blur.

It is a striking feature of the growing startup ecosystems in the Middle East that the lines between “entrepreneurship” and “social entrepreneurship” — that is, entrepreneurship that makes a social impact — often blur. Where conventional wisdom wrings its hands that social and economic problems seem increasingly unsolvable by traditional non-profit and non-governmental organizations whose funding and performance can often be unreliable, a new generation around the region sees these challenges as surmountable by profitable businesses that can self-fund and rapidly accelerate their social impact.

Some of the leading innovators were on display this past month at the first-ever Social Enterprise Week in Dubai, organized by Consult and Coach for a Cause, Community Cinema, Hult Prize and Brand Syrup. Over 300 startups and their backers gathered to share experiences, pitch their efforts and network. The breadth of challenges they have embraced are striking, as are the clear market opportunities and returns they seek.

Source: All Things D (link opens in a new window)

Categories
Entrepreneurship, Impact Assessment
Tags
Impact Assessment, social enterprise