Social Entrepreneurs’ Journeys

By Iongwa Mashangao, CLI Partnership Manager

Each story involves a journey. Social entrepreneurs’journeys begin with the recognition of injustice or suffering, inspiring them to tap into their own inner resources of wisdom to understand the root causes of the misery or injustice, and not only to envision a better way, but to build a model for change and then take that change to scale.

It is always interesting to expose CLI young leaders to effective perspectives and sustainable new solutions to the multitude of crises we are currently facing in our Congolese communities. Sharing stories about inspired and inspiring people who set their sights on creating opportunities not only for material and professional success, but more importantly for lives of well-being, wonder, wisdom and giving is the most effective way to stimulate the socially responsible entrepreneurial attitudes, tendencies among the Congolese youth.

CLI youth must understand the effective principles of social entrepreneurship, how it works and its world changing potential for them to become true entrepreneurial leaders and changemakers.The framework for thinking about the work of social entrepreneurship as a process is illustrated in its four stages by Roger and Sally as follows:

  • Understanding of the world: the paradox of social transformation is that one has to truly understand the system as it is before any serious attempt can be made to change it. Effective social entrepreneurs acknowledge this dynamic and find a way to navigate it. CLI youth are therefore encouraged to invest effectively their time to better understand the local, provincial, national and international systems to be able to bring about strategic and unique solutions towards addressing the prevailing crises in the Congolese communities.
  • Envisioning a new future: to make a positive difference, every change agent, whether a social entrepreneur or not, needs to set a direction. Successful social entrepreneurs set the bar high, envisioning fundamental equilibrium change for specific, targeted constituents. Congolese youth under CLI program are initially oriented to start defining their clear and realistic visions in their daily undertakings for both their private and public victories.
  • Building a model for Change: to bring a vision to life, social entrepreneurs must apply creativity, innovation and resourcefulness to building a model for change. A model that is sustainable in that it reduces costs or increases value in a systematic and permanent way that can be quantified and captured. This is the essence of exposing CLI young leaders to community development, peace and prosperity projects initiation.
  • Scaling the solution: scalability is a crucial feature of successful social entrepreneurship. It is important to note that models that require constant reapplication of the same level of investment regardless of scale will commonly fail to produce sustainable equilibrium change. Such an approach may be too expensive to achieve transformational scale, especially when intended beneficiaries are unable to pay for the benefit.CLI youth are in this context urged to come up with effective and efficient ways to scale their impacts.
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