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Introducing Shengxiao and Social Entrepreneurship

December 17, 2010

Hello.  I am Shengxiao (nickname “sunshine”), one of the founding members of ChangeMachine.

I love languages, indigenous Latin American cultures, international development issues, yoga, flamenco dance, and mango juice.

Like many young and hopeful people, I have always been attracted to the work done by nonprofits to change the world for the better.  But through some of my experiences with nonprofit consulting, I have increasingly realized the efficacy and efficiency of social entrepreneurial firms.  For-profit businesses have existed for much longer than nonprofits, and more importantly, the study of for-profit businesses has existed for much longer than the study of nonprofits.  While they have different goals and stakeholders, different financial sources, different costumer/donor relations, for-profits and nonprofits are ultimately doing the same fundamental things — to sell an idea/product efficiently and effectively in a market.  This involves design, innovation, creation, management, marketing research, product distribution, ect. — all things that sound familiar to the long-existed sector of for-profit businesses.

So how about we apply lessons from an old and well-study field to a young and expanding one in order to make social impact?

That is precisely how social entrepreneurs think and what they do.

And that makes every bit of sense.

This past summer, I was on an island  on Lake Titicaca and the families there did no have running water or electricity.  Two summers ago I was working in China and visited some remote villages with almost zero reliable infrastructure and modern technology.  I have traveled through provinces in the Dominican Republic where children are running naked in the streets.  These people enjoy very little of the available modern conveniences.  But in all these travels, there is something common that I have always seen.  All these people, everywhere, they always always have Coke Cola.  Always. So why is Coke this successful and far-reaching?  What would happen if we learned from Coke — their marketing and distribution strategies — and applied to, say, child vaccination?  We may not have to see children die from preventable diseases in the future.

I believe, firmly, in our ability to effect change in this world.  And I want to apply business practices in doing this. If for-profits are using the latest technology, the hottest social media, and successful management philosophy, then nonprofits cannot afford not to.  The general public has, in some ways, accepted and even expect nonprofits to be inefficient and ineffective because they are nonprofits.  But nonprofit does not mean non-money, non-management, non-results, non-income — it is time to change this perception of nonprofits and put the business of nonprofits on track with the rest of world and its advancing fields.

This is why we are using smart google wave technology for the ChangeMachine site; this is why we are putting nonprofit tasks online to crowdsource; this is why we are creating ChangeMachine.

I believe in its efficacy.

I have real hope in social entrepreneurship ideas and approaches to better the world.

Here is a toast, to ChangeMachine.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 11, 2011 7:21 am


    I would like to connect with Change Machine to see if we can partner and support your organization

    We offer a green, socially responsible and sustainable fundraising tool for College students who want to support a cause

    Let me know if we can connect

    Dario Agama
    Green Awakening
    941 803 0610

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