The launch of the Best Place to be a Social Entrepreneur earlier this fall highlighted a first-of-its-kind poll, which surveyed 900 experts in 44 of the world’s largest economies. It’s a collaboration between Thomson Reuters Foundation, UnLtd, the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network and Deutsche Bank, with the aim of understanding where social entrepreneurs are thriving throughout the world.
The poll is a powerful snapshot of the global social entrepreneurship sector as seen from the ground, revealing a growing worldwide movement of business people acting for good. In all four corners of the globe, social entrepreneurship has taken root and is finding new ways to grow, and indeed thrive. These ventures create jobs, alleviate poverty, transform communities, spur economic growth and make the world a better place.
The results put the UK amongst the top three countries in the world to succeed as a social entrepreneur, following just behind the US and Canada. It’s a gratifying position to be in, reflecting years of work by many people. Organisations like UnLtd were early pioneers, backed by strong government support and passionate advocates such as Social Enterprise UK. But the heart of the movement has always been you, the social entrepreneurs – inspired and committed people, tackling problems faced by our society in new and innovative ways. It’s as a result of your collective successes, advocacy and impact that the UK has become a world leader in this space.
That’s not to say we don’t still have much to learn from other countries; from emerging players like Chile and South Korea, to more established ecosystems such as India, the US and Canada. UnLtd has taken part in this project because we believe that the only way to achieve success for social entrepreneurs is by working together with others across the UK and around the world. This is why we founded the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network, whose members are, as we speak, sharing best practice and valuable insight on what works in the world of social entrepreneurship.
Yet, while there are thousands of reasons to be proud of what social entrepreneurs are achieving in the UK and beyond, we are very aware of the barriers that remain. In particular, public awareness remains low across the board. In Chile, for example, where public awareness of social entrepreneurship ranks among the highest in the world, and which came sixth in the poll overall, social entrepreneurs play a much more visible role in civic society. According to Matias Rojas, Chief Executive of Socialab and GSEN member, “Social enterprises have been the natural evolution of NGOs as drivers of sustainable welfare, a development that the average Chilean is well aware and supportive of.”
UnLtd is committed to helping social entrepreneurs tackle the barriers to creating greater impact, but we can’t do it alone. We’d love to hear your opinions on how to grow this exciting movement for good – take a look at the full results of the poll or join the conversation on Twitter. Together, we can create better places for you to thrive as a social entrepreneur, so that the changes you inspire happen sooner, reach more people and last longer.
This post originally appeared in the UnLtd Blog, and is republished here with permission.