The Difficulty of Starting up a Social Enterprise in a Warzone

8/16/2013
The Guardian

WITH A LITTLE HELP, SOCIAL ENTERPRISES CAN HELP REBUILD COUNTRIES OVERRUN BY CONFLICT

The desire of the disenfranchised for change and sustainable markets is at the heart of conflict. The Arab spring in Tunisia was triggered by a street vendor setting himself on fire in protest at unfair working conditions. Mass demonstrations usually demand increased employment opportunities and wages, and a job market free from corruption. Thousands of young people wanting to be heard turn to social media.

In August 2011, several months after the start of the uprising in Syria, a hashtag (#RamadanMassacre) gained popularity on Twitter. One user wrote: "A tweet can prevent a massacre"; to which an NPR (National Public Radio) journalist, replied, "Can it?".

Social media may have a limited impact, but social entrepreneurship can both channel the passion shown through so-called "clicktivism" and improve employment opportunities that protests are demanding.

These young people are already entrepreneurial-minded, as they are driven...

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