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"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill
In India, Nowadays many of us are getting involved in different ways to make education more accessible and affordable. Governments developing new social programs, NGO's providing direct help to schools & students and the latest addition to this chain is the origin of corporate social responsibility.
For the first time around the world, the big corporate houses are now mandated by the new companies act 2013, to contribute 2% of average net profits towards corporate social responsibility schemes.
Well, corporate social responsibility is a concept where big companies not just concentrate on making the profit & grow the business but also care about the welfare of the society & protection of the environment by taking more responsibility towards society.
It simply means, satisfying your customer's demand as well as managing the expectations of your stakeholders. It means contributing positively and effectively to the community around you. These companies who are mandated by law to contribute towards corporate social responsibility scheme's generally spends their share through running educational institutes, donating to charitable programs of NGO's and providing funding to entrepreneurs & edupreneurs who are working to infuse a revolution in the education sector.
So who are these edupreneurs and how they are different from entrepreneurs?
Well, edupreneurs are the educational enterprises who provide educational services by developing a program, service or a product aiming for making education simple & more accessible.
As a rich human resource nation, India has lots of talented edupreneurs who are trying to achieve their social goals in the education sector.
Why EDUPRENEURS Need Support from Companies which invest in CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY?
We all know that the need for education exists in all geographic areas, across the whole world and for all kinds of people and that's the main reason why corporates have begun to take more interest in the educational sector to perform their CSR activities.
It helps corporations in building a positive reputation, and goodwill among employees, consumers, investors and other stakeholders.
On the other hand, edupreneurs are trying to bring a change in the society by fulfilling the gap of demand & supply of education.
They are running schools which are particularly for the poor students who can't afford to study in private schools , they are running online portals to provide study & test materials to students, they are publishing blogs & articles to spread educational awareness among students and they are reaching in slums & areas where there is lack of educational resources for students.
Yes, we know that these edupreneurs are 'doing good' but the question is are they 'doing well' (financially)? And what about 'doing well' while 'doing good'?
On one side it's a fact that if you're doing any social work or educational work, you can't always concentrate on money factor but on the other side if you're a businessman regardless of whatever business you do, you must make money to survive in these competitive market.
But being an edupreneur, you have to always deal with the shortage of funds and assets. You have to face tough competition in the market from your competitors.
In India 8 out of 10 people believe that our education system needs to catch up with the global education system and yes, in coming years our education system & ways of teaching & learning will change (obviously for better). And believe me, these edupreneurs will play a vital role in rooting these changes at ground level.
But edupreneurs will need more funds & assets to research and develop in coming future and frankly, I don't see any reason why our big corporate houses should not provide much-needed funds & resources to our edupreneurs (through CSR activities and schemes).
I believe that this evolution of edupreneurs is not just the need of society or education system but it's also the responsibility of companies towards their stakeholders because they are also the consumers/users of trained, skilled labor forces produced by our educational institutes and universities.
How can companies investing in CSR activities help & support edupreneurs?
Well the answer is quite simple and straight forward but firstly let's take an example of Anwar from Hyderabad who started School in a slum a few years ago and now he runs four schools in Hyderabad and is constructing a junior girls college for poor girls who are forced to drop from their higher studies due to their financial problems.
Anwar is an edupreneur and believes me he is doing something that makes him totally different from a businessman or an entrepreneur.
So how did Anwar become a successful edupreneur ?
At the beginning of his first school, Anwar faced lots of problems like lack of quality teachers, lack of proper infrastructure and of course the shortage of funds. But then after some time, he collaborated with professor James tooly to form a trust named beautiful tree.
They received a good amount of funding & donations on regular basis and they never looked back. Currently, their school has about 9 branches in slums of Hyderabad with enrolling over 3000 poor students (oh yes, 3000).
This is what an edupreneur can do if they just get what they need i.e, work, funds and personnel and it shows us the importance of investors and funders in an edupreneur's life.
Companies looking to contribute towards educational sector through CSR schemes must consider edupreneurs as their obvious choice for investment. By providing much-needed funds and by effectively marketing the resources, these companies can meet educational goals as well as their own business goals.
These companies can help & support edupreneurs in many ways and some of the simple ways are as follows -:
⇒ Investing in edupreneur's program or product.
⇒ Starting new educational programs or institutions by collaborating with the edupreneur.
⇒ Providing needed assets and tools to the edupreneur's enterprise.
⇒ Providing their manpower to the edupreneur's enterprise particularly for the CSR activities.
And yes, all of these will be their best contribution towards their stakeholders because of the expertise and experience of edupreneur in the education sector.
Partnership's and collaboration between these companies and edupreneur's will play a key role in increased access to quality education throughout the whole country and it will surely ensure more socialization in the education sector.
There are various ways through which Indian education system is getting support for the social and economic development of India.
I personally believe that everyone should contribute towards society to make it a better place for living and education is the finest power of empowerment. I'm contributing towards society & education through writing blogs for edu4sure which is an online platform for spreading educational awareness via blogging and we believe that you're successful in life if you can inspire just one person.
But that's my part, what about yours? Are you playing your part to make education more accessible and affordable?
The education system in India is urging for a change and this change is only possible when both corporates and edupreneurs will come together for this noble cause.
The corporate houses must perform their responsibilities towards society by providing funds for research and Development, collaborating in various educational programs and most importantly encouraging this unique breed of entrepreneurs called "edupreneurs".