Is sharing money = promoting social change?

Writing this note has been the most challenging task for me since a while. It is easy to offer help to people but not equally easy to seek help. Perhaps it’s in our culture or perhaps it’s just my predicament, but reaching out to seek help not just once, but over and over again seems just not my thing. However the challenge of raising resources for those who are making the world a better place is what I do and though I have asked for help before, probably more from you seems to be still the best choice I have at the moment.

I have turned 27 this month and have recently asked a question to a close mentor of mine. The question was the feeling of failure for not yet being able to discover making money in the accepted norms of market economics. And also not having a solid plan to generate revenues soon enough. I have depended on charity in the past and am still depended on charity in the present. The problems I am working with do not have a business model right now, nor do they adhere to the conventional norms of making money immediately. But these ventures or entrepreneurs that I work with have one common passion, that of social change. That passion unfortunately does not generate money soon enough and hence we still keep looking for help. My mentor told me that I need not worry too much and I keep doing what I do because it’s my duty and it’s the duty of balance. ‘Balance’ to do good in the world full of agents trying to do bad.

Those who are doing bad do not have a defined business model, then how can doing good have one?

It was a very small conversation, but I feel my mentor gave me the clarity I was seeking when the feeling of hopelessness gave way to burn-outs at work. By this September, I will complete two years of building UnLtd Hyderabad. I have been fortunate to find a solid team in place and together we have supported 21 social entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs, in turn, have generated 45 jobs and impacted the lives of over 40,000 people. We spent close to 40 Lakh rupees in these foundational years of UnLtd Hyderabad. We know that all these 21 social entrepreneurs will not change the lives of the millions of people, but we surely know that they bring the ‘balance’ to the society which is not an option.

The questions with which I sleep and wake up with everyday are whether this is justified? Whether all this is worth it? Why should people who put their hard work to earn money give it away? Again, my whole concern is the fundamental understanding of the value of money. Shall that value hold true for making money = promoting social change, we should have less of the problems with the ‘balance’ since the Ambani’s alone could have made more social change than all of us put together.

We should mint social change instead!

Hopefully some of us would agree that money is not equal to social change and that the agents of imbalance seek opportunities to exploit the resources of each other’s and that of natures to find their fortune it’s impossible for everyone to be a winner at this never-ending development game. The equation I want to see the validity of, is whether sharing money = promoting social change?

Now that I have written so much about finding the balance and the need to work for social change, the biggest question for me is to know whether my friends, associates and people I know and admire in life believe in such balance? This question is so important to me that it will decide the course of my life and career in years to come. I sincerely believe that I need to be honest in framing my questions and search for the truthful answers. I seek your help today, your help in reaffirming my work with your feedback, resources and references.

I will end this note with the most difficult job I have with you!
Can you share your money? Can you ask your family and friends to share their money? If yes, please let me know or better make your donation at our crowdfunding campaign, If you have already donated to someone please take this poll:

Competencies of a successful social entrepreneur

1. Action with a Purpose
What makes a successful social entrepreneur differ from any social entrepreneur is their commitment to purpose, they are generally much more purpose oriented than many others. The purpose to which they adhere to commands every decision they take in their journey.

2. Empathetic
One of the most recognizable thing with any successful social entrepreneur is that they are absolutely empathetic to their stakeholders, much more than we see in other entrepreneurs. They go to the deepest levels of empathy to understand the real pains v/s perceived pain of the beneficiaries.

3. Ears on the Ground
A social entrepreneur cannot succeed unless s/he is constantly aware of the ground realities, since the journey requires one to walk a tight rope of balance between the corporate realities and the charity challenges they cannot afford to look at the value creation from the top-down, they have to see things bottom-up.

4. Making choices
Successful Social Entrepreneurs are masters at making choices, every step in the journey of a social entrepreneur requires them to make a choice and every choice has a very deep consequences. Choices of not just the personal journey’s but choices of what is right and wrong at every decision since they can make or break the purpose of ideas.

5. Audacious
A successful social entrepreneur is the one we always hear about in the society, the reason for which can be attributed to this very powerful quality of being audacious, since every plan of theirs is disruptive to the regular state of affairs unless they believe in their passion so much that they cannot make it infectious they won’t rest. They audacity makes people join their movement to bring the change.

6. Articulation
Any social entrepreneur, whether being an introvert or an extrovert needs to articulate his vision while building their movement. Being articulate here would mean telling the story of their beneficiaries and about themselves in a way the world understands.

7. Risk Taking
Those who have taken unreasonable amounts of risk are the ones who have always succeeded. The risk calculations for a social entrepreneurs are mixed with the data and their gut, which makes them the best people to manage or mitigate risks of running an enterprise.