National Webinar on ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ organized at Central University of Punjab

Bathinda: The Dept. of Financial Administration in association with Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) at the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (CUPB) under the patronage of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Raghavendra P. Tiwari organized a National Webinar on the topic ‘Social Entrepreneurship’. The keynote speaker of this programme was Prof. Karunesh Saxena, Director IQAC & Director CDC, MLSU, Udaipur.

In his keynote address, Prof. Saxena stated that the concept of ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ emerged in the 1980s when Muhammad Yunus, the Noble laureate from Bangladesh, founded Grameen Bank which pioneered the concept of microcredit. He defined ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ as the process of recognizing an opportunity to create social value and establish new business ventures to bring social change. He mentioned that Entrepreneurship is different from Social Entrepreneurship as the former aims to capture the business market share to maximum profits whereas the later aims to fill the market gap by providing sustainable solutions for social change and profit is just a means of financial stability. He discussed case studies of successful Social Entrepreneurs such as Bindeshwar Pathak (founder of Sulabh International), Vineet Rai (founder of Avishkar Social Venture), Harish Hande (founder of SELCO solar lighting firm), Sunita Ghose (founder of Rangsutra textile sourcing firm), Saloni Malhotra (founder of desire crew Rural BPO) etc. and highlighted that all of them have common characteristics like creativity, desire, passion, leadership and self-motivation.

Prof. Saxena underlined that there are three types of social entrepreneurs i.e. Rainmakers, Change-makers and Spiritual Capitalists. He recognized Madhav Chavan (founder of NGO Pratham), and Anshu Gupta (Founder of NGO Goonj) as change-makers and identified Madhu Pandit Dasa (founder of Akshay Patra Foundation) and Sri Sri Ravishankar (Founder of Art of Living) as the Spiritual Capitalists. While throwing light on the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs, he pointed out that young social entrepreneurs generally faced financial constraints at the start and asserted that if their idea is novel then they tend to get financial support from angel investors. He encouraged CUPB research scholars and students to enter the field of ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ and become change-makers by creating social values.

The event started with a brief note about the theme of the webinar by Dr. Anand Thakur, Head, Department of Financial Administration. Prof. V.K. Garg, Dean Student Welfare, delivered the welcome address during which he opined that Social Entrepreneurship is a powerful thought that has the ability to increase the GDP of a nation and improve the quality of life of weaker sections of society. Dr. Ruchita Verma introduced the speaker. Towards the end, Prof. Monisha Dhiman, President, IIC, appreciated the members of the organizing team including Dr. Anand Thakur, Dr. Ruchita Verma, Dr. Dhanraj Sharma and Dr. A. Eronimus for choosing a relevant topic for the webinar and ensuring smooth execution. Faculty and students from different departments of the university attended this programme on the virtual platform.

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