Over three billion people in the world live on less than $2.50 a day, some 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation, and more than one billion have inadequate access to water. In the fight against poverty, social entrepreneurs are providing the poor with beneficial services and products, while creating better livelihood opportunities.
But while social entrepreneurs are trying to change the world to a better place, not many have succeeded in addressing the problems they are trying to solve. If you study social enterprise in the world, you will notice that only a few have achieved significant scale.
The problem is that social entrepreneurs are usually carrying their business in an environment that does not support them. For example, take the value chain barriers that face businesses trying to deliver innovative and life-saving drugs to the rural poor. While people in rural areas might want and be able to afford these drugs, logistics providers might not be there to deliver these products to their villages.
The journey to successful social entrepreneurship is characterized by frustration and struggle. Only a few social entrepreneurs are successful and have been, therefore, able to improve the lives of millions of people.
Can social entrepreneurs really held end poverty? My view is that they can make an impressive contribution, but only if e support them.