Sheger Cafe - Abdu ali Hijira With Meaza Birru - Recent Events In Our Country | Sheger FM 102.1 Radio
One of our major challenges from the start has been to build awareness and understanding of social enterprise in Ethiopia. Of course, Ethiopians have been running businesses that improve lives throughout history. There has been Ethiopian social entrepreneurs for generations. But as you say, when we started out, the terminology, “social enterprise” was hardly used and the sector was new, so there was a lot of confusion around what it was that we were trying to do. BAs you say, when we started out the sector was new, so there was a lot of confusion around what it was we were trying to do. Sometimes people assume that impact and profit can’t (or shouldn’t) go together. We are saying the opposite: that in fact for an organization to be able to create long-term positive change on society it must be able to generate enough revenue tosustain itself. Furthermore, profit enables growth. If an organization has a strong business model and social impact model then it should follow that the more revenue they generate, the more they improve people’s lives.
This awareness creation is also crucial because there are many people running social enterprises who might not see themselves as social entrepreneurs, because they have not heard of the term. We want to make sure these people hear about it so that they can benefit from our programs and other support programs available.
Another challenge is that there is currently no legal framework that supports ‘social enterprise’ in Ethiopia. Social Enterprise Ethiopia is working hard to advocate for that. Once that is in place, it will make it much simpler for social enterprises to register their organizations in a way that reflects the nature of their work, and for enabling policies to be developed which support the sector.