Social Entrepreneurship

Subject: Environment
Type: Proposal Essay
Pages: 4.8
Word count: 27
Topics: Solar Energy, Entrepreneurship, Management

Social entrepreneurship is used by the startup companies and other potential businesses in order to strategize, find a source of financing with the sole aim of providing desirable solutions to the social, environmental and cultural issues that affect the population (Zahra, S. A., Newey, L. R., & Li, Y. 2014). For social entrepreneurs, the aims of their investment are not anchored to making profits or increase in the valuation of their stock prices but rather a positive return to the community in broadening their environmental, social and the cultural goals by taking active roles in the healthcare and healthcare facilities, alleviation of poverty, education and increased awareness among the population and in the community development.

For angel investment, the investor provides a one-time fund injection to the business or the company to enable it to propel during the difficult financial times in the early stages of operation. As opposed to other lenders such as banks who charge their loans on interest, the angel investors are focused on the starting up of the business and can provide favorable terms and conditions for the source of financing as compared to the other business lenders (Ding, Z., Sun, S. L., & Au, K. 2014). The sole aim for the social entrepreneurs is to solve the social issues affecting the human population within the specific areas.

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Lighting up the Rural areas and Communities that cannot afford Electricity

The availability of electricity, its affordability and accessibility have a direct impact on the lives of the communities. Access to affordable electricity has a direct impact on the development of infrastructure and the living standards of the people in the society. Security, education, healthcare, industrial development and youth empowerment are all anchored in the availability of affordable and reliable electricity. The communities that do not have a direct and cheap source of energy always fall behind in the development and are majorly from part of the marginalized regions and communities in the world. Healthcare facilities need a reliable and affordable source of electricity to ensure that the health facilities run optimally and are cost effective to the health care centers and to the community members. With the availability of affordable electricity, hospitals can be built in the communities. The healthcare center being accessible, the community can have their health needs met to the maximum and the healthcare center can have machinery and equipment that meet the healthcare demands of the patients from cancer screening, chemotherapy, organ and tissue transplant, emergency services, childbirth to counseling services.

The availability of affordable electricity also has a significant bearing on the education standards and levels. With electricity in the homes and houses of the community members, the students can conduct personal studies in their homes at their convenient times not having to be dependent on the natural light and sometimes hazardous sources of lighting that pose threat to their own health. The students have the opportunity to conduct research at the comfort of their homes and widen their scope of learning and reasoning to be able to understand and to mitigate against the problems affecting the society and their personal lives with the sole aim of bettering their lives and improving the society (Choi, N., & Majumdar, S. 2014). With affordable electricity, the learning institutions can be well equipped with the needed learning materials such as lighted classrooms, computer-aided learning, and digitalized record keeping. Providing affordable electricity and source of lighting to such marginalized areas and communities would significantly improve the education standards in the regions. An educated society reflects the development and the nature and level of involvement in the national building process.

Electricity also influences the establishment and the continuity of businesses. With adequate lighting, businesses can operate for longer hours, improve in the security apparatus and have positive returns that can help in the creation of job opportunities and in the overall expansion and diversification of the business. The provision of optional lighting sources, as opposed to the use of kerosene lamps, would go a long way in the facilitation of the establishment of home-based business which forms largely the majority of business in the rural and marginalized regions (Palit, D. 2013). With job creation comes some level of independence and the general improvement of the living standards of the community members. 

The provision of affordable electricity and alternative source of lighting to the community provides an easier mechanism for ensuring that the community gets access to the basic fundamental commodities and a more convenient and cost-effective manner.

The government in conjunction with the non-governmental groups has made great strides in ensuring that such marginalized areas are not left behind in the development. The government has embarked on the rural electrification to open up such areas to constructive development. Some individuals and non-governmental organizations together with the United Nations have planned and have successfully made attempts and initiated projects to lighten such marginalized areas. The manufacture of solar lamps and chargeable devices that can store enough electricity to be used during the night has improved the lighting conditions in homes and business premises. Only about 40% of (Palit, D. 2013) the rural homes are connected to the national grid for electricity necessitating the government and the private partners to enact stringent measures to improve the general access to electricity and lighting in the rural and marginalized areas. 

The demand for electricity nationally is higher than the available supply making the government to prioritize the supply of electricity to major industrial towns due to the large industrial loads leaving the most of the rural settlements to have a disproportionate share of the power blackouts. 

Several projects have been initiated by the federal and the national governments to supplement on the inadequacy of electricity supply. Projects and sensitization on biogas production, solar power generation and utilization and wind power energy to reduce the over-reliance on electricity from the national grid supply. The manufacture of low-cost solar lamps has provided a cheaper and affordable alternative for lighting in learning institutions. The LED lamps produce much light approximately 200 times as much light as the kerosene lamp. Competitors such as the Light up the World Foundation has provided a cheap alternative to the electricity.

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The mission of the business

The mission of the business is to provide an affordable and alternative source of electricity and source of lighting in the rural areas and marginalized regions which cannot afford the cost of electricity from the national grid. This is to be done by educating the community of the essence of organic energy generation through biogas and biomass generation. The business also has to prioritize on the solar power generation to meet the demand for electricity in the areas (Choi, N., & Majumdar, S. 2014). The company, therefore, provides subsidies in the cost of the solar panel, wiring and all the required materials for the installation and operation of the solar panels. The cost of materials has been subsidized by the federal governments and the non-governmental organizations so as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations that has to be achieved and met by all the member countries.

The cost of LED lamps and other materials have been subsidized to make them affordable for the community members (Choi, N., & Majumdar, S. (2014). The business venture provides hope for the women and children who spent most of their time at home. The biogas provides a source of heat cooking and lighting. The kitchen and animal wastes which form the majority of the biogas can be used alternatively as organic fertilizer for the farming purposes.

The business venture is different from other profit oriented businesses in that it focuses on the service provision rather than the making of profits. It focuses on the social necessity of the population, in this case, the provision of affordable electricity and source of energy for cooking. The purchase of the LED lamps that are chargeable by solar can be done in installments. No deposits are required to but rather just a letter of commitment and some level of credibility and accountability in the mode of payment of the installments.

Profit has been considered in this business but service provision is the main priority in order to help the society. The solar LED lamps can be offered to people with an affordable price. The lamps can be given on offers or people can pay them in installments.

One-year plan

Timeline Activity 
5/01/17 to 31/01/17Setting up of the business. Licensing and registration of the business. Soliciting for the sources of financing.
1/02/17 to 21/02/17Engaging the community through the creation of awareness on the mission, vision, goals and objectives of the business towards the community.
28/02/17 to 10/06/17Enrollment of the biogas and biomass projects in the community.
5/06/17 to 11/11/17Enrollment of the solar lamps and solar lighting and installation project in homes, learning institutions and in healthcare centers.
25/11/17 to the next financial yearEnrollment of the wind power project in the community.
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The business venture requires pragmatic and rational leadership to be able to identify the priority issues that are directly facing the community and need to be addressed urgently.

The initial investors into the business are the federal and the national governments and from the United Nations Fund from the IMF. The funding by the UN is to be able to meet the already set Millennium Development Goals that have to be met by the member states. The other sources of funding are to be from organizations, companies, and individuals who might be able to donate some of their saving or earnings to the noble action.

The business approximately requires a financial base of 1 million dollars to be able to meet the operational cost and meet the needs of the community. The funds are to be used in the mobilization and the creation of awareness among the members of the community.  Most of the money will go towards the purchase of solar panels and equipment, the biogas materials, the solar lamps and all the needed educational materials for mobilization. 

The funding team made up of individuals, the non-governmental organizations and the state governments. The source of finance is the foundation of any business because funds enable one to access the necessary resources. The major sources of funding are from the individual contributions from the angel founders which are from their individual savings and or salaries. The individual savings and contribution form the largest portion of the contributions. They account for 60% of the total value of the funding and account for the majority of the voting rights of the business. The angel investors in the business which comprises mostly of the United Nations, the IMF and the World Bank (Ding, Z., Sun, S. L., & Au, K. 2014) which help in prioritizing the development projects that needed to be implemented at various phases so as to meet the set goals and objectives of the projects.

The business is expected to expand considerably from one business center in the first year of operation to three businesses in the next two years. The businesses centers will be decentralized in different regions to ensure that the vast regions of the communities were taken into account. The impact of the projects to the community is diverse. More homes are lit and many businesses can operate even late in the night due to the availability of the affordable lighting alternative. More clinics have a regular source of lights. 

The quality of education in homes and in the learning institutions has also improved due to the improved lighting and the availability of a cheap source of energy from solar and wind generations. The biogas and the biomass production help in the reduction on the over-reliance of petroleum products as a source of energy for cooking and heating. Biogas is a cheap source of power to rural homesteads and can be installed with cheap resources. Overreliance on petroleum materials is costly to some people and it can be disastrous especially if the petroleum is inaccessible. The few people who have experienced the use of biogas appreciate it because it is very reliable and environmental friendly. The importance of a good business is that is should benefit both the client and the seller. Therefore having biogas is beneficial to both the seller and the buyer.

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Rural electrification enrolled by the federal governments in conjunction with the non-governmental organizations has made great strides in opening up the marginalized communities and regions and made accessibility to some of the social services to the population. Such businesses involved in the social entrepreneurship are fully focused on providing the services and solving issues that affect the general population. The most affordable source of funding to such businesses is angel investors who are not profit-oriented.

In conclusion, Social entrepreneurship is used by the startup companies and other potential businesses in order to strategize, find a source of financing with the sole aim of providing desirable solutions to the social, environmental and cultural issues that affect the population. The main aim is to look after the welfare of the society around despite having intentions of making some profit with time. The best way to ensure social entrepreneurship functions is to ensure funding from appropriate companies and beneficiaries. 

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  1. Ding, Z., Sun, S. L., & Au, K. (2014). Angel investors’ selection criteria: A comparative institutional perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 31(3), 705-731.
  2. Zahra, S. A., Newey, L. R., & Li, Y. (2014). On the frontiers: The implications of social entrepreneurship for international entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(1), 137-158.
  3. Choi, N., & Majumdar, S. (2014). Social entrepreneurship as an essentially contested concept: Opening a new avenue for systematic future research. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(3), 363-376.
  4. Palit, D. (2013). Solar energy programs for rural electrification: Experiences and lessons from South Asia. Energy for Sustainable Development, 17(3), 270-279.
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