20 Oct Dr. Sandra Enos & Social Entrepreneurship
Dr. Sandra Enos, an associate sociology professor here at Bryant University and part-time business owner was able to take time out of her day on Thursday, October 20th, to speak with members of CEO about a new form of business that is exploring new opportunities within the field: social entrepreneurship.
Sandra not only teaches about the issues of our society in the classroom, but she takes action, through her emerging social enterprise Brains.Toys.Games, which seeks to address the problem of low-income families being unable to afford toys for their children.
Not all businesses have to be profit-oriented; making a difference in the world is an even more crucial cause because it affects each and every one of us at some point, directly or indirectly. Dr. Enos gave the example of how world hunger will always be a problem. Teaching someone how to “fish,” or provide for themselves is much more beneficial than just providing someone with food, resources, which will cause that person to be dependent on the system and not on themselves. Being self-sufficient not only enables you avoid being reliant on others for help, but it improves your standard of life; being able to help yourself instead of turning to others for help. It is not wrong to ask for help, but for something like food or water, your basic necessities, you should be able to provide for yourself, and then ask for help for other things, such as your taxes or other such paperwork.
Dr. Enos not only came to the meeting with a message, but with proof of social entrepreneurship. General members were all given the opportunity to sample Beautiful Bars, courtesy of The Providence Granola Project. What makes these granola bars so special is that they are handmade by newly-arrived refugees who are looking for a fresh start and find it in Providence. This project not only provides consumers with a healthy snack, but with a sense that they have helped those in need, just from purchasing a granola bar. Dr. Enos also presented a package of socks, an idea from a Bryant alumni who came up with a creative way to support good causes. The socks were not only stylish and fashionable, but each had a symbol on it, which represented what social issue those socks promoted, such as providing clean water to those who do not have easy access to it.
The concept is that you can immediately distinguish your general product (granola bars, socks, etc.) from the rest of the market because people who buy the product are not just helping the company financially, but each and every person who contributes is helping to fight a social issue, which makes each contribution that much more meaningful.
After Sandra’s presentation, each table with general members was assigned the task of coming up with a list of problems in the world that annoyed them, problems which can be addressed. After presenting their lists, each group was then told to choose three things on their lists which they thought to be the biggest issues. After choosing three, each group was told to write their ideas on one of the dual-purpose walls in the new Academic Innovation Center. Such ideas such as homelessness, student debt, and the mistreatment of veterans were just a few issues general members came up with. Then, everyone had to choose which topic they were interested in supporting, and create potential social project ideas. The mistreatment of veterans was the most favored area of interest among general
Stay tuned for upcoming information in regards to a social entrepreneurship project Bryant CEO is looking to launch.