A Pair of Jeans
Social entrepreneurship is that magical pair of jeans that fits each body shape, size and curve. If every person included some element of social entrepreneurship in his/her job, could you imagine where the world would be? Change would be occurring on every level, bettering current systems and inspiring new systems. But, social entrepreneurship is a big word. It is an intimidating word. Often people associate entrepreneurs with inventors and disregard the fact they could ever be an entrepreneurship.
If there is anything in this class I have learned it is that I can be an entrepreneur.
Just how that magic pair of jeans fits each person differently in a perfect way, so does social entrepreneurship. There are many positions one could take in the field: owner, intrapreneur, funder, writer, marketer, secretary, teacher of a program, project facilitator, etc. But furthermore, each person can be socially innovation in his/her own life. What makes it unique for each of us is when we figure out how we can make it part of our lives, when we pinpoint what change we are thrilled to create.
For me, I began not with a problem but instead with a passion I have—gardening. Okay, I thought, now what group can gardening benefit? In a matter of minutes I had ideas flooding my mind. I thought of beginning a program which would teach inner-city youth how to garden and cook healthy, tasteful meals from the fruits and vegetables they grew. Then I began brainstorming how to make it sustainable, how to pitch it to the community, the benefits it would yield.
What makes social entrepreneurship unique to me is that it is no longer a big, scary word. Social entrepreneurship is taking any of my passions and figuring out how to apply it in bettering a struggling community/system. I’m now beginning to see solutions first and then find the problems.
That being said, now what?
I will graduate next December and move into the no longer illusive future. I don’t know where I will be employed. I don’t know if I will actually follow through with graduate school. I don’t know what I will immediately pursue. But, I will have left BYU with new eyes.
Wherever I go and whatever I do, I will be thinking as an innovator. New ideas will lead me to research. And being a journalist, I’m sure my interviewing and inquiries will not be suppressed. I’ll look online, in newspapers, in magazines and speak with experts as I seek to understand some system to which I might apply my skills and passion.
What I do know is right after school, I want to travel. Currently I am mapping out a roadtrip from Pacific to Atlantic. I can’t even begin to fathom the experiences I will have. I can’t wait to see everything from the Big Apple to farms in the middle-of-nowhere South Dakota. This is how I learn best. As I discover new people, events and landscapes, I imagine I will have a million and one ideas of what I want to do, of ventures I could begin. This will simply be my beginning (and most enjoyable) journey toward becoming a social innovator—exploring the world and its many complexities.
I hope I am going to end up with not only stories from this escapade but also a pair of socially innovative jeans I can continue to grow into.