Tag Archive for 'what is a social entrepreneur'

A candle SHINING in the darkness

I admit it, I’m a chancer.

My name is Darragh (hello there, nice to ‘meet’ you :) ) and in Ireland I’m what I call an internet storyteller – I like the stories of people, of brands, of what they do and how they try to make a difference. But, I’m not a social entrepreneur.

I mean Social Entrepreneurs are the ones working in the ‘third’ sector, with NGOs and charities and who are out there seeking funding, campaigning for different causes and actively negotiating with governments and corporations for active change, right? They’re the ones with the websites and business cards and volunteers and networks.

I mean social entrepreneurs aren’t the ‘ordinary’ people – the ones who are just trying to make where they live a bit nicer, who are negotiating with the local council about the security of their neghbourhood, or the ones who decide to swim to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care or help out with the local scouts or set up support groups for charities or volunteer to look after kids for a summer now are they?

A blogger writing about campaigns for a better healthcare system or highlighting problems with government legislation or a campaign for blood donations to help people with cancer surely isn’t a social entrepreneur, eh?

Well actually, it’s all of us. And I hope to be able to share that with you.

Arriving from Dublin last night I had personal apprehensions about my presence at Shine. Would I understand what was going on? Had I anything to contribute? Would people be interested in talking to someone who isn’t an active fundraiser or campaigner or volunteer about what they were doing? Would I just be the one faint spark in a sea of lighthouses?

And very quickly I found out something.

As long as you are passionate about making a change, that you want to make a difference in the world, in your country, in your community, in your office or in your life, and as long as you’re willing to actively share that with people then you are a social entrepreneur and events and collaborations like Shine are exactly for you and for me.

I always say better to light a candle than curse the darkness. In one of my favourite poems What is Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson are the following, very relevant lines:

…To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.

Thanks to the lovely Nicola from UnLtd World I’m online (I wasn’t intelligent enough to bring my laptop) so I hope to be able to update you throughout the weekend!