When we welcomed 2021 at midnight, no one would have thought that the year would turn out to be such a disaster. Many people lost their loved ones to Covid-19 throughout the year.
It was like a scene straight out of an apocalypse movie. People were dying due to a lack of oxygen. The worse part was that people were not even able to give a proper goodbye to their dear ones. The simple act of hugging was a luxury in the times of the pandemic.
At that time, many social enterprises stepped up. They took it upon themselves to do whatever they could to help people around them.
Social Enterprises have been a Necessary Catalyst for Social Change
Social entrepreneurs and social enterprises have been a necessary catalyst for social change for some time now. Such enterprises understood the need to give it back to society and bring a positive social change. They were quick to realise the systematic inequalities in our community and worked towards reducing them, helping bring a social impact.
Why Are Social Enterprises Even Needed?
The problems that vulnerable communities face today, whether racial inequality, institutional racism, access to knowledge, and lack of job opportunity, are all created over generations. The governments can be more effective in addressing racism by introducing different policies, but social enterprises are needed to address the latter problems. It is within their power to provide employment and economic opportunity to vulnerable communities so that they can meet their basic needs.
The need for social enterprises became even more prominent during the Covid-19 that exposed even the world’s wealthiest countries and showed us the mirror. There was a shortage of beds and oxygen cylinders in countries with one of the best healthcare infrastructures. Their healthcare system countries collapsed when faced with many covid patients, resulting in many deaths.
Social enterprises knew about all these losses brought on by the current period of disruption caused by Covid-19. They were more aware than the local governments about who is disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, they have the understanding of how to reach out to customers that many governments lack. All this goes on to show why we need social enterprises today.
The Role Played by Social Enterprises During Covid-19
Whenever there has been a crisis, many entrepreneurs have stepped up to the occasion. In fact, entrepreneurs who are successful today reacted to the economic crisis. Their innovations were born during the time of the crisis. And the same was the case during the pandemic.
Since the Covid-19, social enterprises have swung into action and adapted according to the conditions to address the problems created by the pandemic like hunger, poverty, health crisis, etc. They found themselves uniquely positioned to help vulnerable communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and introduced pandemic-focused emergency programs.
One social enterprise was Bikeworks. Originally, it was a bike shop that ran cycle clubs for people with disabilities and mental health support needs. But during the pandemic, it repurposed its business and aligned it with people’s needs. They set up a cycle delivery service to provide food, medicine, and other necessary supplies to people who were in need.
Another business, Brigade, a social enterprise restaurant, also played its role in helping people during a time of crisis. Though the restaurant temporarily closed down during Covid-19, their apprentices and the rest of the team at Brigade transformed their operations and provided food to vulnerable people in their local community. In just the first three days, they were able to provide over 3,500 meals.
These are just two examples. There were many enterprises that worked silently during the tough times and helped communities and people whichever way they could.
Social enterprises have the power to bring balanced social change in society. They can act as a catalyst for bringing social change and raising the status of people towards progress.
It was these enterprises that came forward during the pandemic and lent a helping hand when people and communities needed them the most. Know any of them? Join Atb.world and share their story.