Social entrepreneurs, according to Wikipedia, recognize a social problem and use entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to achieve social change.
They are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most presing social problems. Ambitious and persistent, they tackle major social issues and offer new ideas for wide-scale change.
Global malnutrition is a huge social problem. According to the UN World Food Programme 925 million people do not have enough to eat. 10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths.
Malnutrition is more than a measure of what we eat or fail to eat. It is characterized by inadequate intake of protein, energy and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and by frequent infections and diseases. When people are starved of the right nutrition they will die from common infections like measles and diarrhea.
Malnutrition thus doesn’t just mean an inadequate intake of food, but an inadequate intake of foods containing the required nutrition. Micronutrient deficiencies affect nearly two billion people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, deficiencies of iron, vitamin A, and zinc rank among the top ten leading causes of death through disease in developing countries.
A major challenge in combatting global hunger is how to fund and sustain programs which provide food relief. Without sustained, consistent, and growing funding, relief efforts are at the mercy of shifting economic conditions and the good will of governments and governmental organizations.
Recently, the global economic situation has negatively affected giving to charities. In the U.S.A. charitable giving fell by 3.2% in 2009, the largest percentage in five decades according to a study by the Giving USA Foundation. That comes after giving dropped 2.4% in 2008 during the first full year of the recession. Nationally, the Salvation Army saw a more than 8 percent decline, and this could mean even bigger trouble for the people who depend on them. There’s word that many nationally known charities are in trouble.
With a growing need for food relief and decreasing charitable donations, social entrepreneurship programs may provide the best solution. In programs such as Mannatech’s, consumers not only donate to others by their own purchases, but receive products and income in return. That’s a tremendous incentive to support a worthy cause.
To find out more, contact us at 337-993-0212 (see our contact page) or visit us on the web.