How Social Enterprises Can Help Us Meet The SDGs
The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has intensified the search for sustainable solutions to development problems. While multilateral agencies such as ADB can provide funding for infrastructure, technical assistance to build and strengthen systems, it is clear that development assistance cannot go on indefinitely, as one of its aims is to nurture self-reliance and self-sustaining solutions.
A promising approach to sustainable development that complements development assistance is social entrepreneurship. In our recent paper Social Entrepreneurship: Improving Global Health, we explain how social entrepreneurs have improved global health while also facilitating economic, social and environmental wellbeing.
Social entrepreneurship can be characterised by the adoption and practice of several principles.
First, social entrepreneurs apply business and management principles to solving social problems, especially where governments or markets have failed or where there are unmet needs.
Second, social entrepreneurs emphasise the development of efficient, affordable and cost-effective solutions. The need to work within severe resource constraints has encouraged social entrepreneurs to be innovative and develop frugal solutions.