My experience with Asociacion CREAR has allowed me to see the important role of offering services to others that may help people achieve upward mobility. With the skills learned from Asociacion CREAR I am confident that I can work alongside other communities in Latin America through the Foreign Service or any NGO in their communities. This opportunity would have not been possible for me without the Social Science Scholars program and I am incredibly grateful for those that facilitated this experience.
Throughout my research in a string of beach towns and rural inland communities along a stretch west and south of Tallahassee known as the Forgotten Coast, I directly observed nonprofits relying upon donated funds, supplies and labor to meet housing and other needs not being met by flood insurance or government funding.
In this guest column, we embrace the other function, namely that nonprofits serve as a venue for people who share particular community values to gather and jointly articulate those values. For us to understand this expressive function, we first need to unpack our taken-for-granted labels for these organizations. Why, for example, do we name these organizations for what they are not – nonprofit or nongovernmental – rather than what they are or what they do?
In a nutshell, social entrepreneurship is the application of enterprise thinking and applications to solving social problems. Social enterprises vary in size and scope, ranging from the for-profit multinational Newman’s Own food company, which generates $600 million in sales annually, to local coffee shops such as Tallahassee’s non-profit Red-Eye Coffee.