Posted tagged ‘social enterprise’

Social enterprise

November 3, 2009

There is now a widespread awareness that we need more entrepreneurship to get us out of the recession. But perhaps one aspect of entrepreneurship that does not always get sufficient mention is its ability to pull people out of deprivation and poverty. According to Gordon McConnell of DCU’s Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship (which itself is developing programmes and initiatives in this area), in the UK 70,000 jobs are provided by social entrepreneurship.

Social enterprise needs coordinated support. The University Network for Social Entrepreneurship provides information on best practice for members in 70 countries. In Ireland  we need to raise awareness of the need to achieve economic growth in a balanced way through business development that can in particular benefit disadvantaged communities; away a little from the emphasis on welfare, focusing instead on the potential of self-help through business development. Universities have a major opportunity to drive this agenda, through targeted programmes and actions supporting regeneration. The Ryan Academy’s Social Enterprise Development Programme is a good start.