Public Relations and Social Entrepreneurship

In the realm of modern business, a potent concept has taken root – social entrepreneurship. This innovative approach combines the spirit of innovation and the essence of leadership with a steadfast commitment to addressing critical social and environmental issues. Social entrepreneurship embodies a system that views profit and purpose not as conflicting objectives, but rather as complementary forces driving sustainable development and enriching quality of life.

Social entrepreneurship focuses on solving social and environmental issues. This approach aims to achieve sustainable development and improve quality of life by offering creative solutions to various social challenges. Successful social entrepreneurship is characterized by its ability to generate profit alongside a positive impact on society, reflecting a comprehensive vision of business success. This type of business varies from projects providing social services, enhancing education, contributing to local development, and other areas aimed at serving the public good and achieving financial profit.

 

During the Deraya webinar, a big focus was put on the southern region of the country, where social entrepreneurship has the potential to make a significant impact on marginalized communities. By fostering innovation and collaboration in this region, social entrepreneurs can address pressing social issues while also creating economic opportunities for local residents.

 

The webinar included two main guests Mohamed Al Hamouzi, a specialist in entrepreneurship development, and Abdelraouf Al Jerushi, a researcher and specialist in peacebuilding, who shared their insights on the importance of social entrepreneurship in the southern region. They emphasized the need for sustainable solutions that benefit both society and the economy in order to drive positive change in marginalized communities

 

 

Defining the Importance of Social Entrepreneurship:

Social entrepreneurship is the practice of identifying and addressing social issues through innovative and sustainable business models. It involves using entrepreneurial skills and approaches to create positive social impact and address pressing challenges faced by communities. Social entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in promoting economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability in

underserved areas. Abdelraouf Al Jerushi mentioned, "The concept of entrepreneurship varies from region to region, mainly focusing on how, through economic growth and development, creative solutions can be found to minimize social problems in society." He added, "Problems breed solutions, and the more problems there are, the more ideas and creative solutions arise to solve and address these problems."

 

Unlike traditional entrepreneurs, who primarily focus on profit maximization, social entrepreneurs prioritize creating social or environmental impact while ensuring financial feasibility. This approach integrates the mission-driven values of non-profits with the market-driven strategies of businesses, fostering solutions that are both effective and scalable. The importance of social entrepreneurship lies in its ability to tackle pressing societal challenges, such as poverty, education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability, in ways that are both impactful and self-sustaining. By leveraging entrepreneurial principles to address social problems, social entrepreneurship promotes systemic change, empowers communities, and contributes to the overall betterment of society. Abdelraouf mentioned that "social entrepreneurship is a project that has both economic benefits and a social solution that the community is suffering from at the same time" Mohamed Al Hamouzi added, "The field of entrepreneurship seeks profit, while social entrepreneurship aims to provide a sustainable social service."


Understanding The concept of "From People to People"

The concept of "From People to People” in social entrepreneurship reflects the core philosophy of this field, emphasizing the empowerment and direct involvement of local communities in solving their social issues. This approach involves enhancing the capabilities of local communities and leveraging their internal resources and skills to achieve positive change. It aims to build effective partnerships among all community members, including individuals, non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurial ventures, and local governments, to achieve sustainable and effective outcomes in social work and local development.

 

Mohammed Al-Hamouzi stated, "The word 'human' is derived from companionship or sociability, as you will always need people around you to provide services, take advice, and succeed in the field of social entrepreneurship." He also mentioned, "Your own project needs other people for its continuity; they are not just a source of livelihood for you but also beneficiaries. It is an exchange process; you cannot live alone as it is a social condition." Al-Hamouzi borrowed a verse from the well-known Iraqi poet Al-Rusafi,

beautifully adding to the concept of "From People to People," providing a clear answer to this social condition.

 

Abdelraouf Al-Jaroushi added, "The 'From People to People' approach uses ideas from the people to solve problems. It is a unique approach that helps in the growth of entrepreneurship, especially in areas with strong social cohesion and solid social relationships."

 

Peace building through entrepreneurship:

Building peace through entrepreneurship is a strategic approach to fostering stability and understanding in conflict-affected communities. This approach focuses on promoting an entrepreneurial spirit and the local economy as tools for dialogue and community integration.

It involves launching innovative and sustainable business projects that create job opportunities and support economic and social empowerment in these communities. This approach also encourages investments that promote peaceful coexistence, contribute to sustainable development, and strengthen human rights and social justice. Abdelraouf Al-Jaroushi mentioned, "It is also based on studies and understanding of the Libyan reality and the problems facing the Libyan community. This issue is very important as it helps reduce the likelihood of conflict and its recurrence in these areas, and it also strengthens social cohesion, creating a solid community built on its unity and strong bonds." He also noted that "economic problems are a driving force for societal pressure to enter into conflicts and wars. Since economic problems are the cause of conflict, they are also the solution. By studying, understanding, and solving the root problem, a means for building peace and strengthening relationships within the Libyan community will be created." He added, "Economic growth, business projects, and the flow of money calm people and reduce problems and conflicts, enhancing peace in the southern region."

 

The Relationship of Social Entrepreneurship and Peacebuilding:

 

The relationship of social entrepreneurship and peacebuilding represents a strategic starting point for promoting stability and development in conflict-affected communities. This link involves utilizing principles of social entrepreneurship, such as innovation, partnerships, and sustainability, as tools to achieve peace and sustainable development. By fostering economic opportunities and social cohesion through social entrepreneurship, communities can address root causes of conflict and build resilience against future instability. This approach not only promotes peace but also empowers individuals to actively participate in shaping their own futures.

 

One aspect of this link is supporting innovative and sustainable economic activities in conflict-affected areas. By encouraging entrepreneurship and establishing small and medium-sized enterprises, new job opportunities can be created, leading to economic growth, poverty alleviation, and enhanced stability. Abdelraouf Al-Jaroushi highlighted that "social problems provide entrepreneurs with the motivations and incentives to aspire and succeed in various fields and projects, aiming not only for local success but also for international achievement." He added, "The issue arises from the community's needs, and the occurrence of problems generates creative and innovative ideas and solutions."

 

Moreover, the principles of social entrepreneurship foster partnerships between different sectors, including the public and private sectors and civil society. This collaboration is vital for building trust and promoting cooperation in conflicted communities. As Mohammed Al-Jaroushi noted, "Public institutions are government entities that operate under specific social service laws, which must provide equitable social services to the community and support various entrepreneurial fields by forming partnerships with emerging small entrepreneurial projects."

Additionally, social entrepreneurship projects can contribute to enhancing education, improving health, empowering women, and raising awareness of human rights, all of which are essential components of peacebuilding and sustainable development.

 

In general, the intersection of social entrepreneurship and peacebuilding reflects a comprehensive vision that combines innovation, sustainability, and collaboration to achieve inclusive development and peaceful stability in conflict-affected communities.

 

Real-Life Examples of Companies Promoting Peacebuilding and Social Change:

Mohammed Al-Hamouzi highlighted some inspiring projects in the southern region, including:

Pixal in the Ubari area: A group of outstanding young people established this company in response to the lack of media and advertising services. Pixal provided free contributions to local volunteer centers, such as designing identities and media coverage. This helped these centers gain greater visibility and support within the community. The company brought about social change by promoting volunteerism and integrating cultural elements. It also brought young people together to work collaboratively on common goals.

 

The Yummy Project was initiated by young women from the south who recognized a large number of low-income women, including widows, divorcees, or needy families, with cooking skills. This segment of the community had no unified platform to offer their services. The Yummy Project was launched to fill this gap. They worked on creating a database and connecting a group of home-based female cooks, bringing them together in one place to offer their services through social media. The project was highly successful and received continuous support for its simple yet effective idea of linking service providers with service seekers.

 

The Green Paradise Project was initiated in another region but operates in the south, serving as one of the successful and exemplary projects to follow. The project’s founder took a significant risk by investing everything he had from the western region, an area known for its luxuries and services, including fuel availability, which the south greatly needed. He left behind the services we typically seek in the north and took a bold step to start a project in the south in a capable field. Currently, the Green Paradise Project produces vegetables that provide a sense of luxury in the south. It was an idea that required a risk, and the founder of this project's risk-taking led to his remarkable success today.

 

In addition to the mentioned projects, there are several other small initiatives, such as:

· Case App

· Hayaka

· Sbitar

· Nasma Net

These smaller projects also contribute significantly to promoting social change and community development in the region

 

Fostering Connections: Startups' Path to Community and Municipal Engagement

Startups are leaders in establishing effective relationships with municipalities, as they can be key drivers of social and economic transformation at the local level. By adopting innovative initiatives and collaborating with local government structures, startups can contribute to improving local infrastructure, enhancing essential services such as education, health, and infrastructure, and building local capacities by providing

opportunities for local training and employment. Abdelraouf Al Jaroushi emphasized that "startups can adapt their solutions to meet the specific needs of the targeted community by primarily focusing on developing the idea, researching, meeting, and evaluating these needs, thereby bringing together a set of ideas that, in turn, study the existing situation in the region". He also mentioned that "by proposing an idea to municipalities, you can build a bridge of understanding and dialogue between you, in addition to their feedback on the project being extremely important to ensure the continuity and success of the project."

 

Furthermore, startups can play a vital role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship at the local level by supporting local entrepreneurs and providing resources, training, and networks that contribute to the growth of the local private sector. This, in turn, enhances local economic development and contributes to achieving stability and prosperity in the region.

 

By leveraging local capabilities and resources and building on mutual understanding and ongoing collaboration, startups and municipalities can achieve sustainable progress and achieve common goals for social welfare and local development.


Collaborative Solutions for Municipal Challenges:

Municipalities encounter diverse challenges in the realms of public relations and social entrepreneurship. Overcoming these hurdles necessitates cooperative solutions that bring together the public, private, and civil sectors. This can be achieved by establishing platforms for ongoing dialogue and consultation among municipal representatives, companies, and non-governmental organizations. Encouraging social investments, offering incentives to companies, organizing joint training programs, and fostering strategic partnerships for shared projects are key strategies. All of these aim to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation to achieve sustainable development and social stability within the community.

According to Mohamed Al Hamouzi, the collaboration and integration between community development offices and business incubators help support small emerging projects by providing the necessary legal procedures to ensure their continuity. Furthermore, networking between municipalities and leveraging existing local governance offices significantly contributes to the economic growth and prosperity of the entire southern region.

 

Al Hamouzi emphasizes that collaboration and integration are not merely accolades but responsibilities that enable municipalities to cooperate, succeed, and thrive together. Additionally, Abdelraouf Al Jaroushi underscores the importance of social gatherings and

networking, regardless of external obstacles and challenges. Through collaboration, communities can generate ideas, proposals, and foster cooperative and participatory efforts in the southern region.

 



 

 

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