Why the youth are essential to growing social entrepreneurship

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Social entrepreneurship has always needed more talented, passionate, and experienced people, and therefore youth are fundamental to becoming future change makers.

For laypeople, social entrepreneurs are change makers who recognize patterns around them, identify problem areas, and pursue novel ideas into an application that can help solve problems in their communities and beyond. She is characterized by her need to drive social change with lasting, transformative benefits for society. What COVID-19 has done is to draw attention to the need for social entrepreneurship.

Social entrepreneurship can be described as a revolution for the good of all. People are beginning to realize and understand the importance of solving problems, building teams, and making change in their own communities. We no longer live in a society where you can repeat a skill or occupation without adapting to or practicing change.

Crucial for change

Social change begins with the personal and India today needs social entrepreneurs to pave the way. As tomorrow’s leaders, young people are critical to change and have helped resolve some critical problems around the world. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals recognize that youth have a strong ability to create change, and more than a third of the SDG’s focus is explicitly on youth. Once they realize their power, they pull a team together and iteratively develop the idea and approach until the context or community changes.

Today’s world is in search of young leaders who are not only able to meet emerging needs, but also commit to “realizing” a new future that paves the way for a regenerative paradigm of existence. The social entrepreneurship field needed increasingly talented, passionate, and experienced entrepreneurs. When social entrepreneurship is achieved on a large scale, it can be an effective solution to fill the talent gap. By the time the young people who previously started their businesses come of age, they will have gained valuable hands-on experience to face the daunting challenges of creating social impact.

Even so, our institutions still believe in the centuries-old tradition of rating systems. Schools continue to focus on grades and standardized test scores as main indicators of “success”. Schools and the entire education system need to rethink how our young people grow up and create a new definition of success. In order to democratize this new paradigm, our education system must focus on empowering young people as empathetic change makers. To do this, educational institutions need to develop curricula tailored to the developmental needs of society in order to incubate, guide, and nurture young minds for change. We can do this by having every school and community do more to encourage young people to practice change so that it becomes natural for young people to start things.

The author is the co-founder and global director of Ashoka Young Changemakers.

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