Promoting Social Entrepreneurship: JCU Welcomes Dr. Nir Tsuk
John Cabot University welcomed Dr. Nir Tsuk, Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investment Professor at New York University and Osaka University on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. The lecture was sponsored by the JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship and the Center for Career Services, and it was aimed at illustrating the meaning of social innovation and entrepreneurship.
As Dr. Tsuk explained, being a social entrepreneur means “creating novel solutions for social problems and, hopefully, creating a new successful business.” In fact, social entrepreneurship and business are not exactly the same. The main goal of social entrepreneurship is to find a way to make a positive change in the world. On the other hand, the principal aim of a business activity is to produce revenue. This does not mean that business cannot lead to social change as well, it just means that the correlation between a business activity and the solution to social problems is not as direct as in social entrepreneurship.
The real challenge for social entrepreneurs is to find realistic solutions to complex problems that affect vast life spheres, such as culture, politics, or education. According to Dr. Tsuk, when you operate in the social innovation field, “having a good idea is not enough.” The first step for a social entrepreneur is to identify and understand the issue. You should build an entrepreneurship ecosystem, have a strategy, a business plan, and a team to work with. Then you should propose a plan to solve the problem before taking action.
Several companies actually decide to invest in social change and support entrepreneurs’ initiatives. This is called “impact investment.” Dr. Tsuk said that thanks to impact investment, it is possible to make a social business profitable and to have a professional future in this field. What is important is to have a clear goal to reach in mind, to engage the community, and to demonstrate the impact that such an initiative will have on our planet.