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Prior to watching the talk given by Marian Spier, I have viewed social impact as a simple concept; to me, it was simply the influence or effect of people or groups of people towards our society as a result of their actions that result from wanting continuous development. Social impact, for me, can be negative or positive, it is either intentionally done or not, and it affects a specific aspect within the society or creates a significant change around the world.
Watching the video on social impact has given me a more profound understanding about the mentioned topic, it has dawned on me that although its concept seems simple, it has its own depth and complexities to it. First and foremost, I have learned the fact that social impact had its own five principles or the Five Cs which were Chance, Clarity, Craze, Courage, and Considerate. Chance was all about creating opportunities, where in order to create real change in society, you must be able to handle starting from nothing; choosing to begin in this way may bring about significant changes that we may not be able to foresee. Clarity, on the other hand, was about having a vision of what you want to achieve, it is always easier to accomplish something if we are able to foresee the endpoint of our goals; as what I have grasped from the situation retold in the video, experiences in life can result in being more driven about achieving the said goals. Moreover, Craze is about being passionate about what you want to start doing, it not only gives the drive and motivation in achieving the goal for the society but also influences the people around us who are helping us achieve our goals. Having Courage is also one of the principles as setting up a business is not just a struggle in itself but it also involves risks, and so according to what I have learned in the video, we must have an entrepreneurial mindset for us to be able to quickly grab opportunities at hand and learn to innovate so that we may continue giving products and services that the world truly needs and not just wants. Lastly, we have to be Considerate and determined which simply means that we must always have a purpose and meaning behind everything that we do to help our community and solve its existing problems. Secondly, I was enlightened about the difference between entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs; entrepreneurs are people who takes risks and prioritize profit more than any other aspects of the business, on the other hand, the latter is someone who sets aside the thought of earning money and instead, focuses on the positive and significant impact that he/she may bring about in the society or a specific community. Social entrepreneurs are more passionate and have more empathy than entrepreneurs when it comes to wanting to influence the world around them.
Based off my observations, I believe that social impact comes as a result of social entrepreneurship which is very rampant in the Philippines at present. One of the social impacts that I have noticed is within my community itself where there are a few owners of franchises, who are commonly stay-at-home mothers, of the Hapinoy Store, wherein, according to the website of Hapinoy, “…envisioned an uplifted lives of these nanays to be more effective microentrepreneurs, with the goal of eventually harnessing the store network to provide communities access to high impact products and services.” As stated in their mission, they aim to train those interested in owning a ‘sari-sari’ store and provide them with ‘micro-entrepreneur oriented’ programs and the access to the digital world which could help them potentially start and grow their business, as a result, the franchisees achieve better and more resilient businesses which not only positively impacts their families but also the community around them. Not only was Hapinoy able to eradicate the problem of sari-sari store owners going through the hassle of having to shop heavy loads of products to sell but they also equipped the owners with preparedness to face the challenges they may face in running the sari-sari store.
When conducting an activity which involves the goal of wanting to create change and positive movement in the society, I believe that it is essential to assess the social impact of any activities or projects being conducted as we have to be able to ensure that our efforts, as someone dedicated to creating change, are not going to waste and that the resources that are provided must at least benefit people or bring about awareness towards them. Moreover, we must assess whether they are satisfied with the project that has been started and if they feel that it is going to create an impact in their lives, not on a short-term or temporary basis, but also in the long run. Lastly, they must assess the social impact of the activity or project in order to know whether something is not aligning well with the things that they have initially planned; in doing this earlier, we can know what certain aspects of the project we must alter, remove, or keep on doing as it is something which is doing the society good.
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