The Role of Social Entrepreneurship Throughout The Pandemic

Social entrepreneurs are using their ingenuity and innovation to equip people today with the resources they need, even in the face of a pandemic. As the world looks to build back better, it is clear that it will need a broad coalition of partners to develop unique and innovative solutions.    

Some of these new solutions are coming from a new category of entrepreneurs who use their creative ideas and innovative energy to solve problems of poverty at the systemic level. These same entrepreneurs run for-profit businesses and have been instrumental in bringing crucial products and services to many in need.  

These leaders share a new mindset that puts the wellbeing of all people and the planet at the core of business. In other words, these executives and their businesses lead with purpose.

This focus on values is redefining philanthropy as we know it  
  • Restaurant chain Everytable, is focused on serving healthy grab-and-go meals at fast food prices in under-served communities across Los Angeles. When the COVID pandemic shut the city down, CEO Sam Polk, shifted the business to deliver food and provide free meals to anyone who couldn’t afford them, implementing a pay-it-forward program that allowed the chain to distribute over 3 million meals in food deserts across LA.  
  • MindRight Health provides culturally responsive and trauma-informed preventative mental health coaching all through text messaging. The goal is to help youth in under resourced communities to better manage and navigate daily stresses. CEO Ashley Edwards aims to reimagine mental health services and advance health equity by making mental health care accessible and inclusive for all.  
  • On a global level, the Spinach King franchise is making strides in providing healthy, nutritious and affordable food across townships in Cape Town, South Africa, while employing local small-scale farmers. CEO Lufefe Nomjana believes in promoting a healthy lifestyle and instilling healthy habits among residents.  

Some organizations have seen the impact and turned towards nurturing social entrepreneurs. Acumen, a nonprofit investment fund, and Acumen America launched a $1.5 million emergency fund to help entrepreneurs respond to the increased need for their services and products to ensure their communities emerge stronger.  

Social entrepreneurs are paving the way towards solutions, and with the help of global corporations there is an opportunity to not only redefine philanthropy but also build a more equitable world. If anything, current entrepreneurs are an indicator of the future to come.  

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