Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Social Entrepreneurship Vs Foreign Aid - Kind of Like The Pig and The Chicken

There's been a lot of discussion about the effectiveness of foreign aid, INGO's and donations versus social entrepreneurship when it comes to dealing with issues of poverty, infrastructure development, etc., especially in developing countries -- and I can't help but think of the classic story about the chicken and the pig, which goes something like this:
A pig and a chicken are walking down a road. The chicken looks at the pig and says, “Hey, why don’t we open a restaurant?” 

The pig looks back at the chicken and says, “Good idea, what do you want to call it?” 

The chicken thinks about it and says, “Why don’t we call it ‘Ham and Eggs’?” 

“I don’t think so,” says the pig, “I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved.”
Although we can't make blanket statements, but for the most part, it seems to me social entrepreneurs are committed, whereas foreign aid and donations are involved. You can't bring about sustainable change without having your skin in the game.