Find Your Purpose-Driven Career
The times, they are a-changing. For new generations of professionals and entrepreneurs, work motivation comes not simply through money and tangible assets, but also through the impact that their ideas will have on the world.
It’s not surprising then that social entrepreneurship is blossoming, with technology and sustainability taking central roles in forming the values of social enterprise.
1. Meet the social entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs are individuals who find innovative solutions to humanity’s toughest social problems — such as poverty, education, pollution, hunger and sanitation. They often choose this path over jobs offering higher salaries.
Why? Because they have a vision for scalable and sustainable solutions to issues that they feel need to be urgently tackled. This new generation of professionals is driven by the causes they believe in, rather than just scaling the corporate ladder.
“Work is no longer just a place for us to make money, it's a part of our lives that supports our beliefs,” says Krisna, a 24-year-old public relations professional.
The social enterprise sector has developed significantly in the past few years in India, as more people want to do something meaningful. What’s more, capital is more readily available to fund these well-meaning projects.
If you’re dissatisfied with your 9-5 desk job that might pay the bills, but does little else in terms of giving you a sense of fulfilment, these anecdotes might inspire you to take action.
2. Dare to jump in
Deval Sanghavi is the co-founder Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation headquartered in Mumbai. Sanghavi took the plunge into a new area when he left a successful career as an investment banker in New York to move to India and start Dasra.
Dasra provides philanthropists with tailor-made investment strategies and connections to ensure their investments have maximum impact, and bring about effective social change. Dasra has directed over US$37 million into the Indian social sector to scale non-profits and social businesses.
“I wondered if my experience in banking and my desire to help those less fortunate could somehow converge. This led me to quit my job at the age of 24 and move to India to start Dasra in 1999,” says Sangahvi in Livemint, a business e-paper.
3. Leverage on your existing skillset
Sanghvi was initially excited about earning good money fresh out of college. But it didn’t seem enough.
“Working 100-hour weeks, I was able to learn a tremendous amount about capital markets, and met some amazing entrepreneurs. Though I made very close friends and had an amazing group of mentors, I kept thinking about my experiences just one year earlier, volunteering with the Community Outreach Programme, educating children living on Mumbai’s streets,” Sanghavi told Livemint.
4. Start something that matters
Roshni Assomull is a London based social entrepreneur. In her past life, she was an investment banker. Assomull co-founded Bella Kinesis with Shaleena Chanrai. The company sells ethical women’s sportswear. The social part is an inherent part of the business: for each item they sell, they fund a business education for a woman in rural India. The duo aims to make customers feel confident and empowered through exercise, and in India, help women gain skills to start their own business.
“I was reading Start Something that Matters by the man who started TOMS shoes,” Assomull shares. “When I put it down I made a promise to myself that I was going to do just that. Bella Kinesis combines both our love and belief in personal fitness and our need to address the issues faced by women worldwide.”
5. Goggles on! Find a clear vision
Matthew Spacie, the founder of Magic Bus, practices a unique model for lifting children out of poverty through play. Started in 1999, the charity works with children from 7 to 18 years old. Magic Bus links them with local community mentors through a weekly programme of sports activities and other valuable lessons on gender and health. Spacie, a national rugby player, came to India as the head of Indian travel agency Cox and Kings, and felt he needed to do something for underprivileged children after living in Mumbai for three years.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Spacie spoke about his aha-moment and how he came up with the Magic Bus concept:
“It happened when I was teaching rugby to the boys that used to hang out on the streets outside the Bombay Gymkhana. I noticed how, with such ease, they took on the role of being a coach and mentor to children and other young people from their own community. That's how the role model approach was born for Magic Bus and I believe that is why the program continues to be so powerful.”
6. Never stop innovating
Spacie’s activity based curriculum has now reached over 250,000 children across India and hopes to hit the one million mark soon. To run his charity successfully, Spacie says innovation is key.
“Collaboration, execution of a good strategy on a good idea, and continual innovation around that idea is vital, and then having the right people to deliver that idea and strategy,” said Spacie to The Huffington Post.