The term “social entrepreneurism” describes those who seek to generate social value through the efforts of their business(es) by changing society for the better, usually in some area of social dysfunction that is not being addressed by the usual means or avenues provided by government programs.

Areas where social entrepreneurs are most active include programs that benefit women, underprivileged children, single parents, orphans, the homeless, the poor, and so on. Examples of what those programs provide include nutrition, education, small loans, livestock, grants, and in some countries even land used to change the lives of families.

The concept of social entrepreneurism is not new, and is very effective. Throughout history major changes have been brought about through the efforts of individuals such as Susan B Anthony, Vinoba Bhave, Dr. Maria Montessori, Florence Nightingale, to name a few. Through their individual efforts, each of these people made a huge difference in the lives of many.

However, social entrepreneurism is especially effective in partnership with the home-based business model. Why? Because of the leveraging that takes place at the grassroots level when individuals can take personal responsibility to change some segment of society and truly make a difference by collectively changing the system—which sometimes happens rather quickly. We each can make a difference, but combined with the efforts of others, the difference can be substantial.

The Direct Selling Association recently stated, “Two in five direct selling companies with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities were involved in corporate social responsibility from the time of their companies’ founding. Furthermore, their CSR activities often reflect the values of company founders or the personal experiences of employees or distributors.”

Direct sales companies realize the value of supporting a cause because it bonds the distributor base in a common effort that is bigger than each person or even the company could provide. This bonding over the cause helps create the family atmosphere that is the glue for keeping the distributor base active. Why does this work so well? Because we all want to be part of something larger than ourselves.

We all know that in the end, what goes around, comes around. We can observe the effects of this collective difference by examining programs that have already produced results through this type of partnership. Many direct selling companies contribute in large measure, from the biggest billion-dollar giants to brand-new start-ups. By providing an avenue for individuals to contribute personally to collective change, these companies create the ultimate win-win-win scenario: the cause wins, the company wins, and the individual wins at every level.

In the home-based business profession, people from all walks of life can find personal success and social success like no other place in the world, in any avenue or venture. We feel blessed to play a part in this tremendous model!

Based in Texas, RON FORRESTER and LESLIE HOCKER are business
and life partners who together have six decades of experience
in network marketing. They were featured Master Networkers
in the May/Jun 2013 issue of
Networking Times.