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Understanding the concept of Social Innovation

Concept of social innovation
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You have probably heard terms such as social innovation, social entrepreneurship, social business, social economy and the social and solidarity economy. But what are the real differences between these terms and ‘social innovation’? The answer lies in the discour- ses that are behind these terms.
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Social entrepreneurship emphasizes the role of ‘social entrepreneurs’, often referring to them as heroes and presenting them as change makers, playing the role of change agents in their sectors. In contrast, the term ‘social economy’, rooted within a European discourse, focuses on collective enter- prises such as co-operatives and group-based initiatives that are established for the attainment of social and economic objectives, emphasizing democratic values, and ensuring inclusion and equality principles.
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The ‘social and solidarity economy’, originated in Latin America in the 1980s and refers to a model of political and socio-economic development based on principles of solidarity, participation, cooperation and reciprocity, as opposed to neoliberal development approaches and economic models centred on self-interest, profit maximisation and consumerism.
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The term ‘social business’, is a term introduced by professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank. It refers to a business in which the entrepreneur does not want to make money for himself or herself, but instead to solve a problem with the business model. According to Yunus, this term is different from social entrepreneurship. A social entrepreneur may not be involved in a business at all; he or she could just be developing a new way to help a neighbourhood or imp- rove healthcare, for instance. Do we have the methodology of using this capacity that exists, to adjust these problems?
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If we do, we can do it through Social Business, you may a better idea of doing it, but all questions and creativity of the human being, has to be channelled through existing problems that we have, or have made for ourselves. If we do that, we can create a whole new world; we can create a whole new civilisation. And that is what we should be looking for.
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Finally, the term ‘social innovation’ is the process of developing and deploying effective solutions to challenging and often systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress. The concept of social innovation focuses attention on the ideas and solutions that create social value, as well as the processes through which they are generated, regardless of where they are coming from. This can happen within the pri- vate, public and third sector.

You have probably heard terms such as social innovation, social entrepreneurship, social business, social economy and the social and solidarity economy. But what are the real differences between these terms and ‘social enterprise’?

The answer lies in the discourses that are behind these terms.

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