I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the presidential election today, and one of the most important debates throughout this election season has been the economy. Thus, my post is going to be about economic impact, but it’s probably different than what you’re expecting. This post will be about social entrepreneurship, and how it is used to alleviate poverty. Social entrepreneurship addresses a social problem using entrepreneurial principles to make a positive impact. A man who is at the forefront of social entrepreneurship is a man named Greg Van Kirk, who co-founded the Social Entrepreneur Corps (SEC) with George Glickley in 2005. I should note here that this is a bit of self-promotion, as I interned with the Social Entrepreneur Corps this past summer in Guatemala, but I do so shamelessly because it’s for a good cause and because I feel there should be more awareness of social entrepreneurship efforts in general. The reason this post is relevant for the “Read This” series, though, is because Van Kirk has given several Tedx Talks in which he emphasizes a different way of thinking, one which is conducive to social entrepreneurship. This outside-the-box thinking is what led him to form the SEC and the other support organizations that operate alongside it. Below is one of Van Kirk’s Tedx Talks which he (regrettably) gave at the University of North Carolina (Go Duke). Take 17 minutes out of your day and watch it. I promise it’s worth your time and that when you finish your perspective will have changed at least a little.
PS. Tedx Talks is listed in my blog roll but you can also find the Tedx Talks Youtube channel here.
PPS. The SEC 2012 Impact Report from this summer can be found here. You’ll notice that there are other countries listed besides Guatemala. Each team works in just one country, but the SEC has grown so much that it now also has teams in Nicaragua, Ecuador, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic!
PPPS. Shout out to Duke Engage for making my internship with the SEC possible!