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Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma visits Jaipur Rugs

Celebrity support for social enterprise

By bringing the work of social enterprises into the media spotlight, celebrities, too, have a role to play in highlighting innovative models for social change.

Many celebrities lend their name (and fame) to social causes. You’re probably familiar with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s support for humanitarian relief in conflict and disaster zones, or famous benefit concerts such as Live Aid in the 1980s. When celebrities link up with particular social enterprises, they can garner support not just for a cause but for particular solutions that are more innovative and more sustainable than past efforts in that area.

Some celebrities have even founded their own social enterprises. In the UK, comedian Russell Brand started Trew Era Cafe in 2015 to showcase and support the local products of the New Era Estate. You can check out the full story behind this community coffee shop here.

In Colombia, actress Paola Turbay supports the development of talent in the circus arts through the organisation Circo para todos. In fact, this celebrity drew her inspiration from her own role as a judge on ‘Colombia’s Got Talent’.

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma has lent her support to Jaipur Rugs Foundation, an enterprise that links small-scale weavers in India to the opportunities of the global market. During a visit to the organisation’s headquarters, Ms. Sharma not only offered direct, material support by purchasing rugs but also spoke with Jaipur Rugs team members to learn about the particular model of socio-economic development that the social enterprise puts into action.

By demonstrating their interest and support, celebrities can draw new partners and customers into the social enterprise’s network.

What are other examples of celebrities supporting social enterprises? Do some research and share your findings in the comments. Do you agree that celebrity support has a positive impact on social enterprise? Why or why not?

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Social Enterprise: Business Doing Good

Middlesex University Business School

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