Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change

Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change

Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change

Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change

Excerpt

In 2003, according to the World Bank (World Bank 2004) the population of the globe stood at around 6.3 billion people. Of these roughly half lived on less than $2 (£1.16) per day. Over 1 billion suffered from malnutrition, a similar amount lacked potable water, and 2.4 billion did not have access to proper sanitation. As a result the Bank estimated that more than 10 million children die of preventable diseases every year. Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to sweep across Africa and many other developing countries and is predicted to affect over 100 million people globally by 2010. At the same time the level of economic inequality between the richest and the poorest continues to grow, with the poorest 50 per cent of the world's population accounting for Just 5 per cent of global income (Bornstein 2004: 6–10).

In the face of such mounting crises, governments and multilateral agencies have increasingly struggled to provide timely and effective interventions. Indeed, in many countries (both developed and developing) there has been a systematic retreat of government from the provision of public goods (as defined by Samuelson 1954) in the face of new political ideologies that stress citizen self-sufficiency and that give primacy to market-driven models of welfare (Martin 2002). As a result, in many territories, the 'supply side' of resources available for public goods has remained static or diminished. The increase in humanitarian and environmental crises—of which the South East Asian Tsunami of 2005 is the most recent terrible example—combined with the failure of conventional institutions to address them has also led to a rapid growth in the 'demand side' for new models that create social and environmental value.

However, the global picture is more complex—and hopeful—than these bare facts might suggest. For example, post the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe there are more democratically elected governments in place across the world than at any previous time in history (see, e.g. The Economist 1999 and 2005a). During the twentieth century, whilst global inequality has grown by most measures, so has per capita wealth, particularly . . .

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