Social Entrepreneurs

Social Entrepreneur role models
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Social Entrepreneurs (3:32)

“A social entrepreneur sees a social problem and decides that she wants to do something about it and starts an organization, or an initiative, or a program to address that problem.”

Role models in order of appearance: Tina Fernandez, Emi Takemura, Feteh Asrat, Ernestina Appiah, Jessica Hubley, Ella Peinovich, Zara Mohidin, Pamela Kato, Surabhi Srivastava, and Helen Adeosun.

Quick Start

1) Listeners heard from social entrepreneur role models who created coding camps, owned restaurants, and more! What do you think makes a social entrepreneur different than other types of entrepreneurs? What part of being a social entrepreneur sounds the most interesting to you?

2) One role model said, “The best way to be an entrepreneur is to solve a problem that you understand.” Why do you think this statement is true? What might happen if an entrepreneur works to solve a problem they don’t fully understand?

3) For social entrepreneurs like the role models in the video, making money is not normally a focus of their business. Instead of profit or money, what do you think these role models focus on? Explain your answer.

4) Listeners learned about many different social entrepreneur role models. And each role model had a different business. Although these role models were all very different, they had some important things in common. What did all the entrepreneurs in the video have in common? Did their businesses have anything in common?

5) All of the role models in this video have a passion to help, and they created their businesses with that in mind. If you were to become a social entrepreneur, who or what would you focus on helping? Why?

Video Transcript

A social entrepreneur sees a social problem and decides that she wants to do something about it and starts an organization, or an initiative, or a program to address that problem.

For any social action to create a meaningful impact, you have to somehow build a sustainable model, and a social entrepreneur is somebody who can do that.

My friends and I who met in school had passion to help women who had suffered gender-based violence and harmful traditional practice. And then we had projects trying to support women. We took time to brainstorm and think what else we could do that is sustainable and where we can support more women, which we can also generate an income so that we can support other projects. And that’s how we came up with Temsalet (Kitchen). Temsalet is a very cozy, interesting restaurant in the middle of Addis.

I have an organization called a Healthy Career Initiative. We brand our name as a Ghana Code Club, and we go to schools to initiate coding clubs for elementary school children to learn to code.

I run a nonprofit organization called Annie Cannons, which transforms human trafficking survivors into software engineers. Our graduates work with experts on continuously more challenging products so that they can learn new skills, and they’re earning at the same time, so they actually make money while they’re doing that. And the third piece of what we do is actually build technologies that they ideate, that solve problems they care about. Because we believe that survivors are the ones to imagine solutions to problems that only survivors truly understand.

Soku is a social enterprise. We are a technology company and a product company in one. So we are an ethical fashion brand that really is aiming to help marginalize artisans from emerging economies to access international demand for their fashion goods. Our mission is to catalyze supply chain innovation and we really want to change the fashion industry for good.

I’m a co-founder of Fig Tech, which is a social impact startup. We build technology and give it to nonprofits so they can operate their own micro loan programs and help transition people out of poverty.

I’m the owner of P. M. Kato Consulting and I make games for training and education in the healthcare sector. So I work a lot with patients. I also work a lot with doctors who care a lot about their work. And I can see when they play the games that I make that it helps with their relationships, it helps them understand things better, it improves their work, and it makes a difference.

I’m a material science engineer from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai in India. I am one of the co-founders of Innovision, a company that’s building assistive technology solutions for persons with disability. And we are currently working on our second product, which is catering to the hearing impaired, now.

I am the CEO and co-founder of Care Academy, and we provide online professional development for caregivers. I was a caregiver myself. I’ve been doing it since I was 18 years old and just had an epiphany one day that I could have been better trained. And so what I say to our staff is that I am building something I could have used. And I think that’s the best way that you can be an entrepreneur is to solve a problem that you understand.

Discussion Guide

Independent Learning Guide: This all-purpose guide can also be used by educators, parents, and mentors to jumpstart a valuable discussion about social problems and the entrepreneurs who work to solve them.

Classroom Lesson Plan

Classroom Lesson Plan: This step-by-step lesson plan is available to guide a more in-depth “before, during, and after” learning experience when viewing the video with students. This lesson plan is also suitable for use in after-school programs and other educational settings.

Fun Page Activity

Fun Page Activity: What is a social entrepreneur? What kind of businesses do these changemakers create? Find out by completing this simple fun-page activity. Social entrepreneurs do a lot more than you might imagine!