OPINION: Start a Business – Not a Social Enterprise
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Socially-minded entrepreneurship is the latest humanitarian trend. Altruistic mavericks are pioneering products and services to fulfill previously unmet needs — especially in developing nations — changing the rules of agriculture, lighting, medicine, education and more.
For example, Reel Gardening improves agricultural access. The group manufactures fertilized paper strips that encase seeds at the correct depth and distance apart for optimal growth. The biodegradable strip is merely planted in the ground up to a dotted line – making it simple enough for even children to grow their own food.
Another is Wecyclers, which addresses the urban waste challenge in Lagos. The company employs a fleet of low-cost cargo bicycles to collect recycling in low-income areas, incentivizing families to recycle with redeemable cell-phone credits.
Millbug, which produces a low cost, solar-powered tablet, is another example. The founders’ aim is to improve connectivity and information access in areas off the grid.
The trend is timely.