The Most Powerful Business Model – Social Entrepreneurship

The Reasons Why We Can’t Ignore Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurship is quickly becoming the most powerful business model of the 21st century. It is an exciting process by which passionate and ambitious individuals build or transform a business to provide innovative solutions to social problems such as poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, clean air and water, and health care.

The world today is plagued by probably more problems than ever before in history. We face challenges like never before and the “to do” list is enormous and growing. Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new phenomenon that operates in areas where traditional non-profit and government based support structures have not been successful.

Social Entrepreneurs are ordinary people who find innovative solutions to society’s social problems. They use traditional entrepreneurial models to bring social or community benefits. Social Entrepreneurs often have a personal experience of the need they are addressing and as such they are uniquely positioned to address some of our most pressing social challenges. They are passionate, driven and committed.

The recognition of Simon McKeon as 2011 Australian of the year has brought the term “Social Entrepreneur” in the national conversation. From the presidential campaign of Barack Obama to grassroots organisations, the concept of social entrepreneurship has received a lot of attention in recent times. It has been touted by many as the means of bringing real and lasting change to a broken and hurting world. Although Social Entrepreneur and Social Entrepreneurship are relatively new terms, examples are found throughout history. They have always existed but in the past they were called visionaries, humanitarians, missionaries, philanthropist, reformers, saints or simply great leaders. Attention was paid to their courage, compassion and great vision but rarely to the practical aspects of their accomplishments. Children learn that Florence Nightingale cared for wounded soldiers but not that she built the first professional school for nurses and revolutionised the hospital system.

Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss and improving systems, inventing new approaches, and creating solutions to change society for the better. While a business entrepreneur might create entirely new industries, a social entrepreneur comes up with new solutions to social problems and then implements them.

But while they may read from a different bottom line, social and business entrepreneurs have a lot in common. They build something out of nothing. They are ambitious to achieve. They marshal resources – sometimes from the unlikeliest places – to meet their needs. They are constantly creative. And they are not afraid to make mistakes.

In fact, this new initiative has the world’s leading policy makers predicting that it will not only become the most purposeful, profitable platform of our time, but also a revolutionary change in thinking and planning for sustainable global improvement.

Social responsibility+Entrepreneurial strategies = Big Change.

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How Medieval Clothing Signified a Wearer's Social Status

Much like today, the clothes that one wore in medieval times signified the wearer's social status.

The clothes of peasants were made from rough, homespun cloth that was often itchy and uncomfortable. And, since a few members of this class possessed more than one change of clothing, and bathing was not a common practice, they were often soiled, smelly and vermin infested as well.

The medieval clothing of the merchant and landownng classes on the other hand, were often made of smooth and luxurious fabrics that were expensive to purchase and hard to find – such as Egyptian cotton, which had to be shipped a significant distance. In fact, quite often, these folks wore their wealth on their backs, as there were few items that disposable income could be used to purchase. (And, in times of economic hardship, these clothes could in fact be sold to others.)

Men and women wore specific styles of clothing during the medieval period. Men tended to wear tunics which flowed over their hose (which doubled as a form of pants) and were paired with a belt. This type of outfit was worn with a felt hat, perhaps decorated with a feather.

Women's medieval clothing on the other hand, included a kirtle, which was like a long tunic that covered an undershirt as well as concealed their legs. During this period, they often wore their hair loose, in long braids that trailed down their backs, or caught up hair pieces that had nets. It was only much later that women began to coil their hair on their heads (with the invention of the hair pin).

While these items of medieval clothing would have been been for all classes, it is the richness and color of the fabrics, as well as the embellishments (such as embroidery with gold or silver thread, the inclusion of seed pearls and other small jewels) that would have set the clothing of the upper classes apart from their contemporaries. And, while the clothing would have received much better care, they were still, quite probably, incredibly ripe!

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How Social Media Is Affecting Current Fashions and Trends

In the past, the fashion world has seemed like a place out of reach to the general public. A mysterious place; which only the rich and famous could be part of. These days, however, thanks to the revolution of social media, this world has opened up, and everyone can join in and share experiences. Social media has had a huge impact on fashions and trends.

One of the leading examples of social media which has affected fashion is blogging. The demand for blogging has increased immensely over the past few years, and more people are becoming involved in this way of connecting with each other. Fashion bloggers report on the latest fashions and trends via relevant websites, before they reach magazines, and interestingly, we now see bloggers sitting in the front row of catwalk shows. A place which was previously reserved for only celebrities and designers. The reason there is such a huge interest in this form of social media, is not only because we can usually relate to the writer, but also because they have the ability to report on the latest trends instantly after the shows have taken place. This diminishes the need to wait weeks or months on magazines being published, or websites updated. It also gives us a platform to interact and communicate with each other.

Popular websites such as Facebook, twitter and YouTube have also had a tremendous influence on ladies fashion and current trends. Top designers such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton have used these types of social media to stream live catwalk shows as they happen, which enables viewers to tell each other about the latest fashion before it reaches the shops. It is also a way to communicate directly with designers, which increases their awareness of what looks are popular and what fashion enthusiasts are interested in. It enables people to feel connected and express their opinions. It also allows people to have a direct influence on fashion trends, and know their views are valued. Designers are also developing ways for viewers to make instant clothing purchases, during these live performances.

Fashion dedicated sites such as Polyvore and Chitopia have in-built forums, where visitors can interact with each other, and share style tips and advice. There is also the option to upload photos, and show off your personal style. These types of fashions sites have a significant affect on current trends, as people love to talk to each other, and what better way to showcase your own unique style, and allow others to become inspired and even replicate ideas.

The increase in social media not only affects styles and trends, but it also allows designers to reach a higher amount of people, in a shorter time frame. It can greatly increase traffic to specific websites, and as a result, make a huge impact on online sales. The need and desire for social media is only set to continue and make way for an even more interesting and inspirational way to interact and …