Social Innovation Lab Winks at a Business Revolution

Social Innovation Lab Winks at a Business RevolutionSocial Innovation Lab Winks at a Business Revolution

There are people in this world who if you try to good for the society, would tell you that there’s no money in doing good, so unless you are super-rich, you better focus your efforts on how to sustain yourself. There’s one entity in Lahore that trying disprove this notion. Yes, you can earn money and do good for the society at the same time.

The Social Innovation Lab is one such initiative that encourages and educates social innovators and gives them a testing ground for their initiatives, along with some practical advice for business sustainability. It is the brainchild of Maryam Moinuddin, a Law graduate from LUMS who also holds a Masters in International and Comparative Law from the University of Berkeley.

SIL ultimately intends to bring together social enterprises to work together for creating a more equitable distribution of resources in the society. It was founded in October 2013 to make the social enterprise sector a viable industry in Pakistan and make social business not only financially sustainable but also regionally scalable. Considering that there is a lot of ignorance when it comes to starting a social enterprise in Pakistan, the need for a lab manifests itself.

Because when you are thinking of venturing into social entrepreneurship, the first response that you get from your family around you makes you think you are crazy and they think that you will ultimately go bankrupt because starting a social enterprise is similar to starting a non-profit. Nothing can be further from the truth. So next time you get sneered at by your peers, you can tell them the stories of social businesses who have made it big in the real world.

This is why SIL held a Social Innovation Mela two months ago to serve as a platform for social enterprises to illustrate what they have to offer. “The Social Innovation Mela” says Moinuddin, “was planned as a celebration- we wanted to bring to the fore all the incredible work being done to further the cause of Social Justice and Social Entrepreneurship, in Pakistan and beyond. In some ways, we wanted it to also be a ‘call-to-action’ for future change makers and leaders, to come together; listen to and learn from the voices of the communities we ought to be serving, and to use these lessons as motivation to engage in meaningful work.”

It’s about time we pull ourselves out of cliches and understand that being an entrepreneur means that you find a solution where other people see a problem. So if others don’t think you can make money out of something, if you really want to be an entrepreneur, show them that you can.

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