What is a Social Enterprise?

Social entrepreneurship is defined by the following three components:

  • Ability to identify a stable but inherently unjust equilibrium that causes the exclusion, marginalization, or suffering of a segment of humanity that lacks the financial means or political clout to achieve any transformative benefit on its own;
  • Ability to identify an opportunity in this unjust equilibrium, developing a social value proposition, and bringing to bear inspiration, creativity, direct action, courage, and fortitude, thereby challenging the stable state’s hegemony;
  • Ability to forge a new, stable equilibrium that releases trapped potential or alleviates the suffering of the targeted group, and through imitation and the creation of a stable ecosystem around the new equilibrium ensuring a better future for the targeted group and even society at large. (source: Startup and Change the World: Guide for Young Social Entrepreneurs)

Street children and youth are excluded from everyday society in so many ways. They are stigmatized for being on the streets, and this stigma can stay with them even long after they have transformed and left the streets. Street youth in Kenya are often trapped in a cycle of poverty, drug abuse, violence and ill-health in much the same way as street youth in any other part of the world. We have identified an opportunity to break this cycle, and hope that our youth will stand as role models to all their peers, demonstrating that transformation is possible.

In the end, we want want to create some good in the world and believe that getting a comfortable life in exchange is fair.  We are not out to make top dollar, and operate always with the goal of doing some good, but that does not mean we should not make a living at it, either.  Many, including even ourselves, sometimes find those two ideas difficult to reconcile and accuse social entrepreneurs of wanting to be rich. This is dead wrong. We aren’t greedy; this is a tiny project, and we do not exploit our youth. We work hard and we are good at what we do, and feel that getting a return for that – not one even close to competitive with what we could get working for a big company, mind you – is reasonable.