Businesses are at the heart of citizens’ lives. They have an important role to play within society and have the opportunity to raise awareness and influence so that everyone adopts new behaviors.
Societal entrepreneurship consists in creating an economic activity by linking the values of Sustainable Development to companies, that is to say to Corporate Social Responsibility. The objective is to create a company whose products and / or services meet social and / or environmental needs by creating added value and jobs that cannot be relocated.
For the 7th consecutive year, OpinionWay has conducted for Ashoka an unprecedented survey on the perception of social entrepreneurship in France. This survey reveals the perception of women entrepreneurs (48%) and social entrepreneurs (52%) and the general public regarding the capacity of social enterprises to respond to societal problems.
It emerges from this study that the link between inventing new economic models, reconciling social impact and economic profitability leads the actors of social entrepreneurship to innovate in their economic models so that they become credible and bearers of hope in the future. . This Barometer highlights the importance for the structures of the social and solidarity economy to involve all stakeholders to create a model that will prove to be successful in the future.
Climate issues at the heart of concerns
For the first time since 2010, climate change is at the top of the agenda. Indeed, 70% of social entrepreneurs and 38% of the general public identify the climate as a major challenge to be addressed as a priority. Three years after COP 21, these figures show a real awareness of the urgency of climate issues.
However, behind the challenge of COP 21 to contain global warming, the essential question arises of reviewing the ways of exploiting raw materials, of producing, of transforming, of consuming, of working and of redistributing. It is therefore essential to create innovations in favor of sustainable development that make it possible to resolve this challenge.
Entrepreneurs are concerned by the major concerns around the issue of climate because it is a major issue for the near future, the fight against global warming requires awareness at the level of companies whose activities are polluting. Adopting transparency in the field of ecology is becoming a virtual necessity for companies, as the impact of human activities on the environment can no longer be underestimated. Today, companies that help limit carbon emissions and promote biodiversity are in a position to positively influence consumer habits, and to participate in an awareness that will be beneficial for all.
Entrepreneurship and the challenge
Entrepreneurs can help instill in young people a taste for creation, risk taking and personal investment. Entrepreneurial culture can in its educational mission teach students responsibility, confidence in their ideas and self-sacrifice to carry out a project. Integrated into educational programs, the company could thus become a vector of social justice and a fair economy.
The social enterprise is today a model of organization which has the wind in its sails, and responds to the new problems arising from the financial crisis. Entrepreneurs who place collective utility, participatory governance and a stated ambition for progress rather than profit at the center of their project can be considered as precursors of a united economy capable of making society better. Through their practical approach to problems and the solutions proposed in the field, business leaders therefore seem likely not only to raise awareness, but also to forge the foundations of the society of tomorrow.