Social Entrepreneurship

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Assess the importance of social entrepreneurship in the local context.

1.0 Definition of Social Entrepreneurship

A social entrepreneur identifies and solves social problems on a large scale. Just as business entrepreneurs create and transform whole industries, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss in order to improve systems, invent and disseminate new approaches and advance sustainable solutions that create social value. Unlike traditional business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs primarily seek to generate "social value" rather than profits. And unlike the majority of non-profit organizations, their work is targeted not only towards immediate, small-scale effects, but sweeping, long-term change. “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry." (Bill Drayton, CEO, chair and founder of Ashoka). Today, social entrepreneurs are working in many countries to create avenues for independence and opportunity for those who otherwise would be locked into lives without hope. They range from Jim Fruchterman of Benetech, who uses technology to address pressing social problems such as the reporting of human rights violations, to John Wood of Room to Read, who helps underprivileged children gain control of their lives through literacy. They include Marie Teresa Leal, whose sewing cooperative in Brazil respects the environment and fair labor practices, and Inderjit Khurana, who teaches homeless children in India at the train stations where they beg from passengers. Whether they are working on a local or international scale, social entrepreneurs share a commitment to pioneering innovation that reshape society and benefit humanity. Quite simply, they are solution-minded pragmatists who are not afraid to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems.(Source: Skoll Foundation)

2.0 Status of NGO”s in Mauritius
Mauritius has a long history of civil society engagement in social, economic, cultural and political spheres, dating from the 19th Century. Today, 6000 voluntary organizations are registered with the Registrar of Associations, most of which are Community Based Organizations (CBOs), with 300 organizations corresponding to the characteristics of an NGO. CBOs are mainly ethnic or special interest based, with very few of them oriented towards development work. The Government of Mauritius recognizes the important contribution of NGOs to development in the country, and has worked with them on a contractual basis to deliver public services through the activities of: the Ministry of Women, Child Development and Family Welfare; the Trust Fund for the Rehabilitation of Vulnerable Groups; and the Ministry of Social Security. An NGO Trust Fund has also been established to support activities initiated by NGOs and CBOs themselves. A Social Service coordinating body was established in 1965 by act of Parliament, which was, in 1970 transformed into the Council of NGOs – as an NGO umbrella organization. Long before this, there already existed several national organizations created by an Act of Parliament. Recent studies and consultations have noted the need to strengthen the NGO sector in Mauritius to enable it to address emerging development challenges. The current needs of the country call for a professionalised approach to social service delivery, improved organizational and project planning/management capacities, improved accountability to both funding agencies and constituents; financial independence and sustainability and a move beyond service delivery to partnership with government and the private sector in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring.

3.0Legal and regulatory framework
There are three different legal frameworks for NGOs to be registered: The Registration of Associations ACT RL No. 4/465 Jan 1979 regulates NGOs in Mauritius; certain NGOs are governed by an...
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