I have come to know a society established on scientific, geographic and medical discovery. We measure success by pushing and testing our capabilities, hopeful that it will gratify a method for progress. For centuries, success has been about uncovering or discovering an unknown; it is the key to evolution, prosperity and happiness. Travel is a time for discovery and exploring unknowns. Some people may say they find it in themselves or others, say they find it in the world around them.
Travelling gave me an expansive feeling of how much in the world there is to discover, it is immeasurable! The more I learn, the more I realise there is so much that we do not know. The quest for knowledge is never ending. Travelling and studying in India made me realise that University students, the world lies at our feet.
The Social Entrepreneurship: Bottom of the Pyramid and Rural markets course indicated to me that helping others to exercise justice and liberty through Social Entrepreneurship might in fact be the most relevant form of aid work of the Common Era. Social entrepreneurship aims to empower and facilitate growth within disadvantaged communities through providing them with the skills and resources to develop business independently. It works in close proximity with
education and trade.
Social Entrepreneurship doesn’t just think about people in need but it also
considers what people need, making it contrary and more relevant than other forms of aid such as charity work and philanthropy. Social entrepreneurship entails the lending of capital as well as the development of skillsets and the attainment knowledge. Small loans act as a benefactor of lifestyle change and improvement. They are used to buy tools such as sewing machines or transport so that people can earn income, access resources and even create jobs for themselves. There is a saying, ‘give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll feed the whole village,’ which essentially means, it is imperative to address long time problems such as poverty with long term solutions such as education and the skills to fulfil jobs.
For change to be successful, it must happen at a parliamentary level as well as a ground level. It was motivating to see that India already has in place some solid social liability policies, my favourite being the CSR, or the Corporate Responsibility act. This involves 2% of incomes earned within the corporate sector being re-distributed at the bottom end of the pyramid to support the underprivileged, creating a cyclical, or trickle down affect within the pyramid of wealth. I was impressed with the local sense of patriotism and dedication within India to develop legislation that propels sustainable business models which not only improve the GDP and GNP of the country but to also to achieve a minimise social and environmental risk.
India must have some of the most complex and astringent problems within the fields of theology, welfare, health, sanitation, transport and security. I saw many shadows and within them I saw suffering and insecurity and felt a sense of foreboding. I saw that the shadows had much to do with these complex problems needing a solution.
In being involved in the Social Entrepreneurship program I began to see that the key to solving problems was realising that there is always something you can do and I feel that my ability to work collaboratively and speculate upon such complex problems will enable my future learning, working and research endeavours.