20 Takes On Social Entrepreneurship In Your 20’s

25 Feb 2012 | Youth Affairs | By Team Halabol
(Source: http://india.ashoka.org/)

Halabol spoke to 20 social entrepreneurs, who shared a unique trait that worked for them in their twenties to offer a new solution or alternative to social change.

0Comments Read MoreIndian Youth, Social Activism, Social Change, social entrepreneurship

Since the past five years especially, we’ve seen a surge of community initiatives and social movements by the young, educated and ambitious minds in the country.  This generation of young Indians are more privileged to have a wide exposure of globalization unravel before them in the form of malls, gadgets, social media and foreign investments. They have gone abroad to study or work but they may not be referenced as the “brain drain” of the country that was once so resentfully termed. These folks bring back better technology and ambitious solutions to the parts of the country that our current globalized schemes don’t cater to. These are socially conscious and economically driven men and women who dared to venture into the business of social change, a sector otherwise dominated by seasoned experts, researchers and panelists.

Halabol spoke to 20 social entrepreneurs, who shared a unique trait that worked for them in their twenties to offer a new solution or alternative to social change.

                Ishita Chowdhury. Founded The YP Foundation at 17

“I think one essential that a social entrepreneur in their 20's must have, is a passion or hobby that exists outside their work. The issues we fight for and believe in, don't exist in isolation and neither do we. We need to have a sense of inner peace, enough sleep, have some fun and have time to reflect. My own journey teaches me that this makes you sharper, more insightful and gives you stronger instincts in the work that you do. A little laughter and light in our lives, just makes us better people to be and easier to work with. “

Anshul Tewari, Monetized Youth Ki Awaaz at 23

“There is no age specific trait that a social entrepreneur requires or must have. Be is 20 or 60, the amount of dedication, perseverance, hard work and the belief in vision remain the same. Yes, when you are 20 and try to become a social entrepreneur - you do have the age on your side. One trait that I must mention, which a lot of entrepreneurs don't have, is humility. You might have a rockstar idea that can take over the world and change it - but if you are not humble, there is only a certain level you can go to. I think this is one trait which helped me and continues to help.”

Sonal Kapoor , Protsahan India Foundation at 23

"The first thing one requires is PASSION even more than funds I'd say. Its all about going that extra mile and BELIEVING that you can herald change in the world. Bringing change is about changing patterns, changing mindsets that've existed for long. With PASSION things only become easier!”

Shiv Bhaskar Dravid, who started The Viewspaper at 22

“In my opinion a social entrepreneurs are driven by passion an not money. They are doing what they are doing to bring about change and not necessarily to make the next million. However the talent that social entrpreneurs also have is to make money while doing good for the society.”

Prakhar Bhartiya, Founded Youth Alliance at 21

“I think for an entrepreneur or anyone who wants to bring about a change the most important value would be perseverance and sense of possibility and these are the two things that keep me going 24*7. My strong belief in the power of youth and the untapped youth potential pushes me every second to do something for it and give youth the right direction.”

Aarti Mohan, was 28 when she co-founded Sattva

“The 20s, especially the latter half is a good time to figure out what you really want to do in life. I tend to think that by then, one reconciles with all the other 'must-pursues' like money, a stable job, where to settle down in life and so on. Entrepreneurship, irrespective of age, is a demanding choice, perhaps a lot more than some other professions, primarily due to it being a highly evolving, growing and dynamic space in India. One should be very clear about why they are in it, and what it means to an individual.”

Keerthi Kiran, Founded Grassroutes at 21

“One trait I would say that is most important is Empathy. Empathy drives social change and is key trait required to be a social entrepreneur.”

Ishita Khanna, Founded Ecosphere at 24

“Well, I guess you got to be a bit nuts to start something like this in Spiti :). But on a more serious note, I think what we all shared was a love and passion for the mountains and their environment and seeing how we can do our little bit.“

Jithin C. Nedumala At 19, he co-founded Make a Difference

“Selfishness. I think everyone sometime between the age of 15 and 25 realizes the one thing that really makes them happy. Unfortunately it's often not something that would make their parents proud or help them gain the society's approval. At this point you need to make a choice. A choice between spending the rest of your life doing what you really want to do and doing what the people around you want you to do. Choosing the former will result in your parents shunning social gatherings for the rest of their lives because they are tired of answering embarrassing questions about their son. Knowing all this if you still decide to do what really makes you happy, then it kinda obvious that you're selfish at some levels :)”

Arundhati Gupta, Founded Mentor Together at 23

“To be a social entrepreneur in your 20s I think you need a mix of being extremely self-aware. Being self-aware is very important because your career path is quite uncharted and you have to have an inner sense/clarity of your choices and convictions. “

Tanvi Girotra. Founded Becoming I Foundation  at 19

“One of the things that really works for me while doing what I do is taking risks. I think that's something very unique about young people that we're not afraid of trying something new and revolutionary. Whether its the radical nature of projects, collaborations, new communities, new approaches or new people even. 'What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.' At least for the last 3 years - it really has.”

Hemant Sahal. Social Entrepreneurship Consultant who founded CALLMAT at 20

“Having faith in yourself and the community you work in is really critical. A lot of times things don't happen according to the plan or sometimes your plan itself fails but till the time your intent is right and you have faith, you do achieve results by the end. This is especially important for young changemakers because we often tend to lose our patience and sometimes fail to understand that 'change' takes its own time.”

Kishal Gopal, a Teach For India fellow who, at 26, co-started an initiative targeted to train underprivileged people and employ them in getting jobs while manufacturing environment friendly and power effective LED light products.

“I strongly believe that there is no dearth of resources. One just needs to channelize those in the right direction and a social entrepreneur tries to be the bridge.”

Ramana Killi, Founded Green Basics at 23

"Willingness to venture into unsure water, but with a conviction to deliver excellence even when pressed to the wall. I call it breathing the entrepreneur's air"

Irfam Allam, Samman Foundation at 24

"Some people succeed because they are destined to succeed, some people succeed because they are determined to succeed but ENTREPRENEURS are Born to Succeed". The magic which worked, working and would continue working for me is - "Never- Say- Die" attitude and dreaming big habit."

Dhimant Parekh, Founded The Better India at 28

“One unique trait that I believe worked for me is a want to see a better world around me. Reading newspapers had become a depressing activity - sensationalism was being paraded and somewhere I knew that this isn't going to lead our country anywhere. We needed to showcase the good work happening too, we needed to highlight the developmental ideas that were being implemented in various corners of the country, we needed to bring to the forefront those unsung heroes whose work was bringing about an impact. I wanted to see this part of India, which was hidden under layers of negative news. “

Dhruv Lakra, 9820975600, Founded Mirackle Couriers in his late 20’s


Pooja Warrier, Founded UnLtd India at 27

“Absolute belief in your vision balanced with the humility to acknowledge and learn from your mistakes.”

Yashveer Singh, Founded National Social Entrepreneurship Forum at 22

“I believe to become a social entrepreneur at a young age the first step would be to bring a small revolution in our own minds and take the ownership and figure out how “I” as an individual can bring a positive change to something I strongly feel about.”

Kuldeep Dantewadia founded Reap Benefit at 23

“Perseverance and Introspection makes one grow personally and professionally”


SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP. Do you have it in you?

Would you, as a social entrepreneur, like to share what hasn’t been covered in this non-exhaustive list?

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