Fragile States & Social Entrepreneurship

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What comes to your mind when you hear the words “The fragile States”? Yes, a “Fragile State” is a developing country characterized by weak state capacity or inadequate state legitimacy, leaving citizens vulnerable to a range of shocks. For instance, the World Bank deems a country to be “fragile” if it:

1: is eligible for assistance from the International Development Association.

2: has had a UN peacekeeping mission in the last three years

3: has received a governance score of less than 3.2

These countries, which include more than a billion poor citizens, are either in conflict or have been in a war that has caused many of their citizens to either lose their lives or to refuge in other countries with a better situation and living norms.

“Fragile States/Countries” started attracting the international community and donor agencies’ attention for a decade and was followed by injecting billions of dollars into these countries. This matter brings the question: did the funds solve the problem?

Could it bring stability in the government system, security, economy, or the way people think about their own countries?

We recently concluded that most of the donor agencies who tried to help economically these countries have failed to target and address the most pressing problems. There could be possibly lots of reason behind it, such as lack of information on the local context, using the top-down approach (The top-down approach relies on higher actors to determine larger goals with low involvement of lower-level actors) rather than bottom-up approach (a decision-making process that gives the entire system actors a voice and makes them part of the decision making process)

, choosing the wrong channels for injecting the fund, failing to identify the right partners and stakeholders, and some other reasons. Perhaps, it is time to propose new solutions for some of these old challenges!

Almost less than a year ago, a new movement started to rise to change the narrative on fragile context. This movement started in Afghanistan and grew global. impACT, as a worldwide movement for social and systemic impact through entrepreneurship, was initiated to strengthen the global startup ecosystem by facilitating an exchange of resources, knowledge, and networks, especially given the fragile environments.

According to the impACT team, Social entrepreneurship, which is explained as doing business for a social cause, is the key to bringing positive change in fragile states.

Social Entrepreneurs from fragile countries can build a stable socio-economic community by targeting the main reasons and roots of fragility in their countries, such as the weak economic and social situation that leads to a vulnerable political situation. Because they are well aware of the challenges, and they have entrepreneurial DNA (refer to those who are passionate about starting their enterprises).

Social Entrepreneurs can work as a catalyst for change in their communities. People in different countries are attracted to businesses using the social entrepreneurship model. That is how they will have a more incredible feeling than just spending money because they pay money and contribute to a social cause with a more significant and lasting impact.

Social Entrepreneurs help people in living a better life with fewer problems and challenges. They use a model that combines the business/commerce and social causes and targets a specific group of people connected to the reason, and helps them live a better life. Therefore, we can state that their success is considered as others’ success in their own life.

Finally, social entrepreneurs create job opportunities and decrease the unemployment rate, which is a fundamental reason for joining youth to insurgent groups. They can be considered sources of hope and inspiration for those who plan to move and leave their country due to fragility.

Join our impACT family and help us spread social entrepreneurship further to contribute to a better future!

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