Social entrepreneurs in a pandemic
Research in Bangladesh reported in the International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation suggests that social entrepreneurship increased there during the COVID-19 pandemic. Areas that benefited from this activity were primarily in food, healthcare, employment, and education, the team writes. They suggest that managers should focus on these four sectors when we are faced with the next major crisis.
Entrepreneurs by definition create and endeavor to profit from novel business ventures, there is a well-known element of innovation associated with entrepreneurship. Commonly, those who are successful evaluate an emerging set of circumstances that might require a novel response, service or product and plan, act on those plans, and re-evaluate their impact and the whole process and ultimately offer something that the consumers want or need.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, social distancing, the closure of business, and, of course, the very sickness and deaths wrought by the disease, there has been, for many, little opportunity for entrepreneurship. For others, however, they have risen to the enormous challenges the pandemic has presented. Moreover, given the problems so many people have faced during the pandemic, the notion of more altruistic endeavors have come to the fore. The social entrepreneur who hopes to solve a societal problem by offering a novel product or service is the champion needed in many areas of society where the focus is solving the problem rather than worrying about profit margins and the fiscal bottom line.
Work by others in 2020 had already shown how active and swift social entrepreneurs could be in a time of crisis. The new work from S.M. Sadrul Huda of the North South University, and Syeda Raisa Maliha of Re-think, Re-search, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, demonstrates how in the midst of a crisis our inner humanity emerges. The team delves into the details of some extraordinary entrepreneurial activities in Bangladesh carried out by social entrepreneurs as we live through the pandemic. Among the entrepreneurial endeavors are efforts to provide protective gear and food to the poor, employment opportunities for rickshaw pullers, free online education, free laptops for students, shopping and home delivery of groceries, supplying oxygen cylinders, as well as the use of various digital tools and services such as PeaceMaker Studio, iFarmer, and Shuttle.
More information: S.M. Sadrul Huda et al, Rise of social entrepreneurship during COVID-19 pandemic, International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation (2021). DOI: 10.1504/IJSEI.2021.119294
Provided by Inderscience