Social Entrepreneurship Internship | Bridgebuilding Fellow
As previously announced, TingaTinga has hired me, Alex Moore, as its first summer intern to do work in Uganda and help with web presence, while acting as their inaugural fellowship participant as well. In the post below, TingaTinga highlighted (very graciously) why the organization hired me for its social entrepreneurship internship for this summer. Now, it is my turn to discuss why I chose to sign on and accept this role.
One of the main reasons why I chose to be the TingaTinga intern pertains to the very reason why I chose to be an entrepreneurship major in the first place. When I was a senior in high school, the (now famous) Toms Shoes Company had just begun. There was something incredibly intriguing about the idea of a social enterprise like Toms – a business that is for profit, but serves a social need at the same time. The more I researched Toms and businesses like it, the more the longing to work in the field of social entrepreneurship or a similar field grew within me – and this longing is a major reason why I am studying entrepreneurship at Grove City College.
I, like so many others, believe that entrepreneurship and the principles of business as a value creation device is one of the best ways to change the world. Muhammad Yunus (the founder of micro-credit and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner) says, “I insist that all human beings are entrepreneurs. No exceptions. No one lacks entrepreneurial capability.” If this is true, then why not encourage the entrepreneurial potential of the people in the third world? On the most basic of levels, owning one’s own business instills self-confidence and responsibility for one’s actions. On another level, entrepreneurship creates jobs and aids economies, yet “two-thirds of the world’s population doesn’t get credit” because the poor are deemed “not creditworthy”. If TingaTinga, as a social entrepreneurship group, can finance entrepreneurs through various micro-finance mechanisms in the third world and alleviate some of this credit disparity then the immense potential for change through third world entrepreneurs can continue to grow. (The Rotarian, April 2012)
I chose to join TingaTinga because it is an organization that believes in the effectiveness of entrepreneurship. TingaTinga Capital longs to serve entrepreneurs in the third world (not limited to Uganda) by providing “little bridges” of finance that allow the entrepreneur to step across and know the full potential of the land that once stood within sight, but just beyond reach due to a lack of financing. TingaTinga is the epitome of social entrepreneurship in that, while not-for-profit, it sees value creation as a means to bringing about economic well-being in the third world. Yet, it is not a welfare or simply philanthropic group because they require that their investments produce a return. I am excited to be a part of managing the enterprises in which TingaTinga invests, in order to assist them in producing these returns. If my time in this social entrepreneurship internship can help Benson and TingaTinga expand and accomplish their goals, then my time and effort will be well worth it. I’m beyond elated to begin working with TingaTinga and serving them as they expand the scope of the organization, to work alongside fellow entrepreneurs in the third world – lending the talents and knowledge God has graciously endowed to me – and to be working in the field of social entrepreneurship with an organization that harmonizes so well with my passions and longings as a student and participant in entrepreneurship.