Making Connections

Today was the first day in awhile in which we haven’t been out and about all throughout the day, going from class to company visits to lunch and so on. Instead, we were able to hear from a few guest speakers who spoke about different yet connecting ideas about the business world.

Our first speaker, Dr. Eliada Griffin-EL, a professor at Robert Morris University, lectured to us about social entrepreneurship and what it really means. The definition that she gave to us was “a process involving the innovative use and combination of resources to pursue opportunities to catalyze social change and/or address social needs.” In short, social entrepreneurship is driven by enacting change. By changing the system by which a  company uses its resources, it gives that company opportunity to impact social change on a large scale. This explanation of social  entrepreneurship ties in directly with what we learned about corporate social responsibility (CSR). In the same way that company success in a social entrepreneurship is driven by social change, the increasing commitment levels of CSR represent the further emphasis on social progress that helps a company grow. Both ideas have similar ways of getting to the visions they see for their companies by enacting principles and strategies to help them get there.

An example that stuck with me from her lecture was one about how we poverty affects social change. Dr. Griffin-EL described poverty as the absence of freedom which occurs when one’s full potential is impeded upon by another factor. This leads people to the mindset that social entrepreneurship encompasses. They are driven by enacting social  progress in order to expand the needs of everyone. It helped me realize that social change is more than just a means of advancing companies forward by addressing social issues. CSRs and social entrepreneurships are about understanding the broader issues of society and creating a means by which those issues can be solved.