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The Cost of Doing Nothing

Business for Good

Madison Gunning
August 27, 2014
The concept of social entrepreneurship is complex in that it has many levels that
distinguish itself from conventional entrepreneurship. The root of entrepreneurship is
grounded in innovation and revolution, as a means to take what we have and improve upon
it or come up with completely new ideas. What makes social entrepreneurship different is
that those ideas must hold a social value and make a positive and sustainable impact on
society. The ideas that a social entrepreneur comes up with are expected to meet a certain
challenge and offer a valuable solution that can be implemented into society. Oftentimes, a
concept or product can be viewed as the perfect solution to the specific problem that the
entrepreneur is trying to tackle, but it wont always work out as expected. In order for the
concept/product to be worthwhile it not only has to be designed effectively, but also
implemented effectively as well. The entrepreneur must be knowledgeable about who are
what they are planning to serve, as well as their target consumer (if this is different than the
people served). Ultimately, the social entrepreneur needs to generate social value that people
want to be a part of, whether that be on the contributing or receiving end. By recognizing
these components that differ from enterprises strictly wishing to garner monetary value, the
social entrepreneur is committing oneself to taking risks. To create a business for good, one
must look beyond their self, and potentially even their own skill set, to solve a problem in
and inventive way.
The title of social entrepreneur can easily be given to Albina Ruiz. The creation of
her project, Ciudad Saludable, is a perfect example of how a business model can benefit
the entire community and significantly improve living standards. By developing her waste
collection system in Peru, she was not only able to collect the garbage that was flooding the
rivers and streets, but also helped to reduce disease, provide jobs internally, and make room
for more people to begin running their own businesses. Ruiz, and the country of Peru, have
a success story on their hands. If Ciudad Saludable had not been implemented, the country
would be facing disaster. Without the infrastructure needed to treat the trash correctly, the
mess was piling up and people were even less likely to pay for collection. If Ruiz had not
become involved the towns that these Peruvian people live in would be giant trash heaps,
and essentially driven away from their homes, given they had not already died from such a
significant health hazard. The cost of doing nothing is much greater than the commitment to
thinking analytically and solving the problem.