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LM Thapar School of Management organizes Social Entrepreneurship Forum

Tags: LM Thapar School of Management, Social Entrepreneurship Forum, NGO, corporate social responsibility, Dera Bassi campus

April 10, 2015 | COMMENTS ( 0 )

LM Thapar School of Management organizes Social Entrepreneurship Forum

Facilitating an interface between social enterprises, corporates, students and budding social entrepreneurs, the LM Thapar School of Management (LMTSM) of Thapar University, Patiala organised a Social Entrepreneurship Forum at its Dera Bassi campus on April 4 and 5 during its three-day business fest Nimaya.

The Social Entrepreneurship Forum provided a platform to emerging social entrepreneurs and NGOs to learn the art of running social enterprises/NGOs the innovative way from other successful NGOs and some of the leading names in social entrepreneurship like Arunachalam Muruganantham and B. Subramanium.

The Forum explored how management tools could be applied to the development sector to reduce overheads and transaction costs. It underlined the need for developing viable business models in the social sector based on earning from customers and giving it back to beneficiaries.

While the Forum acted as a means for NGOs to connect and share their journey with other entrepreneurs, for corporates it was a way to connect with the NGOs of their interest to carry out their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. The social enterprises/NGOs which participated in the Forum tried to bridge the gap between the corporates and social sector by guiding the corporates on how and where to spend money to meet their CSR objectives. The social enterprises/NGOs shared their working models with other stakeholders and learnt ways of generating capital through corporates.

For students, the Forum served as an opportunity to associate with the NGOs of their interest and take part in the immersion/training programmes of these organisations. They also developed a better understanding of what the social sector expects from corporates and vice versa.

Describing the Social Entrepreneurship Forum as part of LMTSM’s effort to create a social entrepreneurial mindset among business leaders of the future and common people alike, LMTSM Director Dr Padmakumar Nair said, “This mindset will act as the ethical compass to balance corporate and social good. India needs a lot of social enterprises, and the best way of making them successful is to run them like viable business models.”

Addressing the gathering, keynote speaker R Balasubramaniam, founder of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement who is known for his pioneering development work among rural and tribal people in the Mysore area of Karnataka, identified lack of trust and inter-dependence as the obstacles in the way of creating social and human capital.

“The driving force behind setting up social enterprises should be to make something for the world, not for ourselves. Develop that ability to take risks. You must believe that you can change the world. Human capital implies building these very qualities,” said, Balasubramaniam.

Arunachalam Muruganantham, another social entrepreneur who has won global acclaim for his invention of low-cost sanitary pads, said in his keynote address that a clear mind is the most important prerequisite to setting up an enterprise. “To be able to do new things, you must rely on the time-tested trial and error method. What we need is not retailing or e-tailing, but D-tailing. We can create more and more opportunities if we build organisations on measurable social impact,” he said.

The NGOs which acted as resource persons at the Forum were unanimous that compassion and a spirit of service were essential for social entrepreneurship.

Col Ravi Bedi (retd) of the Chandigarh-based Youth Technical Training Society said management students could play a significant role in generating human and social capital.

“It is for this reason that the SP Jain Institute of Management, Mumbai has been sending its students on special social projects since a decade,” he said.

Among the NGOs which shared their experiences with other stakeholders were SOS Village, Rajpura, the Indian Council for Social Welfare, Nari Niketan, Jan Shiksha Sansthan, Sulabh International and many more.

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