S-H-A-R-I-N-G stands for “Sending Hope And Rebuilding Into National Goals.” S-H-A-R-I-N-G University (SU) is a 508 (c)(1)(a) organization dedicated to providing a platform for global connectivity. Their goal is to level the playing field and raise the standard of human experience for all nations by eliminating poverty and sickness. Their education is focused on Social Entrepreneurship; specializing in businesses that solve community problems and address pandemic health issues.
Currently in the accreditation process as a business school, SU makes starting a successful business achievable for all walks of life. The university provides their students with a free website, free and low-cost business opportunities and training with easy to follow instructions.
In addition, SU provides access to free cell phone service and business tools. passive investment programs, housing programs, nutritional information and products that provide duplicatable businesses. People can advance from zero to hero, regardless of their status upon enrollment.
Imagine what it could mean to someone with few viable options to suddenly have unlimited opportunities though SU’s education platform.
Students enroll in Level 0 for free in SU’s unique Peer-to-Peer, Pay-it-Forward Tuition Plan. The SU platform is designed to give people easy access to Class Levels 1 – 10 for a one-time, out of pocket cost of five dollars.
Students are guided to grow their financial nest egg throughout their education. Those that continue through the curriculum have ever increasing opportunities to follow each other into SU’s social entrepreneurial programs. Students are shown step-by-step how to receive additional funding, simply by sharing a multitude of products and services with others.
While SU provides students the needed income to fund their purpose in life, they are simultaneously developing mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Students experience personal transformation while saving money, getting paid daily, learning how to leverage assets like cryptocurrencies, and receive passive and residual income from multiple streams of income. When hope is restored, and personal needs met, students often choose to contribute to society thus fulfilling SU's ultimate purpose.
If everyone who can does even a little bit, together we can impact the world in a meaningful and measurable way.
The Meaning of "Social Entrepreneurship"
By J. Gregory Dees, Original Draft: October 31, 1998
Any definition of social entrepreneurship should reflect the need for a substitute for the market discipline that works for business entrepreneurs. We cannot assume that market discipline will automatically weed out social ventures that are not effectively and efficiently utilizing resources. The following definition combines an emphasis on discipline and accountability with the notions of value creation taken from Say, innovation and change agents from Schumpeter, pursuit of opportunity from Drucker, and resourcefulness from Stevenson. In brief, this definition can be stated as follows:
Social entrepreneurs play the role of change agents in the social sector, by:
Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value (not just private value),
Recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission,
Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning,
Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand,
Exhibiting heightened accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created.
This is clearly an “idealized” definition. Social sector leaders will exemplify these characteristics in different ways and to different degrees. The closer a person gets to satisfying all these conditions, the more that person fits the model of a social entrepreneur. Those who are more innovative in their work and who create more significant social improvements will naturally be seen as more entrepreneurial. Those who are truly Schumpeterian will reform or revolutionize their industries. Each element in this brief definition deserves some further elaboration. Let’s consider each one in turn.
1) Change agents in the social sector: Social entrepreneurs are reformers and revolutionaries, as described by Schumpeter, but with a social mission. They make fundamental changes in the way things are done in the social sector. Their visions are bold. They attack the underlying causes of problems, rather than simply treating symptoms. They often reduce needs rather than just meeting them. They seek to create systemic changes and sustainable improvements. Though they may act locally, their actions have the potential to stimulate global improvements in their chosen arenas, whether that is education, health care, economic development, the environment, the arts, or any other social field.
2) Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value: This is the core of what distinguishes social entrepreneurs from business entrepreneurs even from socially responsible businesses. For a social entrepreneur, the social mission is fundamental. This is a mission of social improvement that cannot be reduced to creating private benefits (financial returns or consumption benefits) for individuals. Making a profit, creating wealth, or serving the desires of customers may be part of the model, but these are means to a social end, not the end in itself. Profit is not the gauge of value creation; nor is customer satisfaction; social impact is the gauge. Social entrepreneurs look for a long-term social return on investment. Social entrepreneurs want more than a quick hit; they want to create lasting improvements. They think about sustaining the impact.
3) Recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities: Where others see problems, social entrepreneurs see opportunity. They are not simply driven by the perception of a social need or by their compassion, rather they have a vision of how to achieve improvement and they are determined to make their vision work. They are persistent. The models they develop and the approaches they take can, and often do, changes, as the entrepreneurs learn about what works and what does not work. The key element is persistence combined with a willingness to make adjustments as one goes. Rather than giving up when an obstacle is encountered, entrepreneurs ask, “How can we surmount this obstacle? How can we make this work?”
4) Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning: Entrepreneurs are innovative. They break new ground, develop new models, and pioneer new approaches. However, as Schumpeter notes, innovation can take many forms. It does not require inventing something wholly new; it can simply involve applying an existing idea in a new way or to a new situation. Entrepreneurs need not be inventors. They simply need to be creative in applying what others have invented. Their innovations may appear in how they structure their core programs or in how they assemble the resources and fund their work. On the funding side, social entrepreneurs look for innovative ways to assure that their ventures will have access to resources as long as they are creating social value. This willingness to innovate is part of the modus operandi of entrepreneurs. It is not just a one-time burst of creativity. It is a continuous process of exploring, learning, and improving. Of course, with innovation comes uncertainty and risk of failure. Entrepreneurs tend to have a high tolerance for ambiguity and learn how to manage risks for themselves and others. They treat failure of a project as a learning experience, not a personal tragedy.
5) Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand: Social entrepreneurs do not let their own limited resources keep them from pursuing their visions. They are skilled at doing more with less and at attracting resources from others. They use scarce resources efficiently, and they leverage their limited resources by drawing in partners and collaborating with others. They explore all resource options, from pure philanthropy to the commercial methods of the business sector. They are not bound by sector norms or traditions. They develop resource strategies that are likely to support and reinforce their social missions. They take calculated risks and manage the downside, so as to reduce the harm that will result from failure. They understand the risk tolerances of their stakeholders and use this to spread the risk to those who are better prepared to accept it.
6) Exhibiting a heightened sense of accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created: Because market discipline does not automatically weed out inefficient or ineffective social ventures, social entrepreneurs take steps to assure they are creating value. This means that they seek a sound understanding of the constituencies they are serving. They make sure they have correctly assessed the needs and values of the people they intend to serve and the communities in which they operate. In some cases, this requires close connections with those communities. They understand the expectations and values of their “investors,” including anyone who invests money, time, and/or expertise to help them. They seek to provide real social improvements to their beneficiaries and their communities, as well as attractive (social and/or financial) return to their investors. Creating a fit between investor values and community needs is an important part of the challenge. When feasible, social entrepreneurs create market-like feedback mechanisms to reinforce this accountability. They assess their progress in terms of social, financial, and managerial outcomes, not simply in terms of their size, outputs, or processes. They use this information to make course corrections as needed.