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Social Entrepreneurship – Top 3 Reasons Why it’s the New ‘Big’ Thing

Social Entrepreneurship – Top 3 Reasons Why it’s the New ‘Big’ Thing. 


86% of millennials are saying that there is more to business than money. This is reflected by the changing trend to be more socially aware and responsible for issues that affect us globally. 

The corporate sector is dedicating resources to departments on social responsibility and implementing diverse and inclusive work cultures. Investors are bringing in new ideas of social innovation into the market. There has been a noticeable trend in entrepreneurs wanting to address a ‘social problem’.

Social problems are those that addresses some of the world’s greatest problems, including poverty, environmental sustainability, gender equality, and the list goes on. Changing commercial business models to solve these problems has coincidently opened up a sector specifically for social entrepreneurship. According to Swinburne University’s Centre for Social Impact, social enterprises have amounted to nearly $5.2 billion of the Victorian economy and have employed over 60,000 people in this sector. 

As these statistics show, the sector is beginning to boom. Here are some reasons why social entrepreneurship is the next ‘big’ thing. 

The social costs have begun to outweigh the benefits of an increased GDP. The GDP is an inadequate measure the quality of life as global equity is no longer measured in a financial capacity fueled by capitalism. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are an improved measure of understanding national progress in terms of social wellbeing factors such as access to formal employment, healthcare and basic human rights in a country. According to the UN in 2016, 61% of all workers globally are engaged in informal activities - activities that are unsafe and unsustainable. These statistics have been adopted as new indicators to measure global success.

Upcoming generations believe that having shared goals and a sense of purpose is more important than growth or profit maximisation. Although being pro-business, around 52% of millenials expect businesses to be committed to helping improve society, according to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey. Social enterprises are also founded on the concept of common purpose towards a shared community goal. In my opinion, having a purpose driven business model serves this purpose as it builds momentum to contribute to society whilst making economic gain. 

Social enterprises offer alternative solutions to bridge the funding gap for non-for-profit activities. Leveraging the capital market in the social enterprise sector can open up a large sum of funding to become available for scaling the work for charitable organisations. According to the Australian Charities Commission, 35% of charities receive no donations at all, and 25% rely on donations for more than half of their income. Combining the power of global commerce with organisations that serve to address global problems can create an avenue for sustainable revenue flow that can be spread across to NGOs and NFP organisations to scale their impact globally, and ensure sustainable outcomes are achieved. 

Many social enterprises have been created based on these reasons, including Humanism Global. Humanism Global was ‘born’ from identifying the need to recognise and offer opportunities to the lives of many humans who do not have access to them.

Handouts are not going to end global poverty, but work, real work, just might - Leila 

At Humanism Global, we co-design employment and educational opportunities for humans in marginalised communities to break the cycle of this inequality in order to have a better redistribution of wealth and resources, and to embed new approaches that build capacities at all levels of society. 

The marginalised women we work with in Pondicherry, South India currently create hand-made artisanal lanyards, and customised 100% GOTS certified organic cotton tote bags sold to Australian organisations. Each sale creates real work and a safe source of income for the women we work with, but also educates the world on the impacts of their purchasing power. Our platform for employment creates a safe space for women to truly express who they are, without judgment and exclusion. 

Being here is the only time and place in the world I can be my true self - Gayatri

We hope to extend this experience to over 300 humans by the end of this year, and 10,000+ humans 5 years from now.