What is social entrepreneurship? In essence, it’s about using the tools of entrepreneurship—opportunity, resourcefulness, innovation—to address stubborn social and environmental problems. A defining feature of social entrepreneurship is the concept of systemic change; that is, change that addresses the underlying social, political, and economic forces that conspire to exclude the poor and marginalised from the opportunities that many of us take for granted.
Images of a Loa Loa worm crawling across a woman’s eye, a man’s leg swollen, unrecognizability from filariasis, a child comatose from malaria: these are the images often used to start a lecture on global health. The people suffering from these exotic maladies are undoubtedly of people of color who hail from communities and countries impoverished by a succession of geopolitical forces in direct opposition to human rights.
Policy makers, organization, and governments have worked side-by-side with people living with AIDS as part of a global social movement for three decades. The success of the movement for HIV treatment access not only garnered billions of dollars of new money for HIV treatment, but also served to shift the public health paradigm from prevention-only to the provision long-term treatment.