a) Social Entrepreneurship Energizes the Mission
Entrepreneurship is the modern expression of the human spirit. It is the innate passion to create and design, to do something that changes the world for better. Only a passionately held mission can energize people to expend effort, give time or donate services or money. In our modern economic based world the word best describing passionate endeavors is entrepreneurship. It has recently been expanded to include social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship has been defined by Gary McPherson the Executive Director of the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Alberta as follows. "Social Entrepreneurship strives to combine _the heart of business with the heart of the community through the creativity of the individual." The University of Alberta has taken an interest in this sector of the economy and expands on the definition. "Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new concept, therefore it is difficult to provide a single, common definition for this term. Essentially, social entrepreneurship refers to collaborative approaches between the business, not-for-profit, and government sectors to find innovative solutions to traditional social problems. Social entrepreneurship relies on people’s cooperation, creativity, and “entrepreneurial spirit” to help advance social causes." (http://www.business.ualberta.ca/cefe/ Another excellent resource on social entrepreneurship is J. Gregory Dees who, in his paper "The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship”, mentions that social entrepreneurs play the role of change agents, by:
adopting a mission to create and sustain social value (not just private value),
recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission,
engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning,
acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand, and
exhibiting a heightened sense of accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created.
The Sionito Group of Charities has developed a unique program specifically focused on addressing the needs of the Health Care System and the needs of the marginalized. As with any entrepreneur it is seeking adequate funding to enhance its efforts and to research its effects.
b) Civil Society Informs the Mission
The passion of the Sionito Board is to be contributing citizens in a civil society; to be more citizen than consumer. The citizen is the solution for all social issues. Just as every problem has a name and address, so does every solution. Societal issues need to be personalized. Society can be changed only to the extent that individual citizens will engage in a community based organization and expend energy intentionally and entrepreneurially. Just as a marginalized citizen needs a mutual support community to foster change, a fully engaged citizen, to become a true civil citizen, needs to be affirmed by engagement in a community service organization. The Sionito observation is that both groups (the marginalized and the engaged) will receive positive life-ability enrichment changes from their community experiences.
A civil society requires citizen involvement in its service delivery systems, otherwise its most capable citizens retreat into gated communities of self-interest and disinterest, where the very meaning of being human is diminished, the spiritualized energy of compassion that builds great societies is loss and governments toil alone (to contain the vulnerable) in isolation from the people. Morality is replaced by legislation, government help up programs become annuity programs, welfare becomes a trap; historically, these are the first steps towards a diminished civilization. Sionito energized by its mission is attempting to focus on developing a societal culture that represents and reflects our understanding of a civil society as composed of a variable variety of supportive communities which come in all types, forms, designs and varieties; however some of them are intentional. The Sionito Group contributes to the Canadian expression of civil society and social entrepreneurship by intentionally building inclusive, compassionate communities of mutual support and encouragement with the goal of increasing the life-ability of each member of the community.
c) Cost Effectiveness & Accountability Defines the Mission
There are many missions that can be developed in a society that may cost considerable in terms of dollars but which benefit only a select few or if they benefit society in general it is a benefit so thinly spread that it loses its value. Civil society missions have to show responsibility and accountability. Value for money is a central concern for all social service providers. For example, some of the government funded charities that support the arts are constantly confronted with the question of how many benefit and in comparison to other causes is there high priority societal value achieved. Wisely, value for money is the question raised by the latest Health Council of Canada study paper (February 2009). The Sionito mission focused as it is on the marginalized in our society, is focused on value for money returns to the Ontario health care system. There is high value for money in normalizing the usage of the health care system by marginalized citizens who presently are not using it as designed. Normalizing its usage, not only reduces the health care costs required by these particular high maintenance citizens, the time and spaces released opens up blockages and bottle necks in the system allowing for the cost effective usage of resources in the system. Cost effective use of resources based on planned for needs dramatically increases the efficiencies of the system allowing the valued health goals of all citizens to be achieved.