If the United Nations was fully funded, why would we need the Arc or Social Enterprise?
Apart from maintaining global peace, the United Nations also acts as an international effort to eliminate important social issues through the Millennium Development Goals and disaster relief. However, the existing role of the UN as an international platform does not dispel the importance of social enterprises, even if it were fully funded.
Social enterprises are businesses that innovate with the main goal of alleviating social problems. These companies are much smaller than the UN as they focus on specific communities in a specific industry rather than the world as a whole. However, its small scope and hands-on approach enables them to delve even deeper into improving the social situation of the community in conjunction with the brand itself. For instance, Osei-Duro clothing, a social enterprise that produces hand-dyed apparel from Ghana, provides people specifically in Ghana with employment opportunities and training.
Furthermore, while programs such as the MDG bring long-run returns through better education and health, social enterprises take this to another level by ensuring the people in need a platform for continual growth and opportunities in the long-run. Despite the rocky start, Osei-Duro clothing’s gradual journey of improvement suggests future growth and expansion for the brand, providing the people in the community with greater returns.
To conclude, rather than viewing the two entities separately, social enterprises could be viewed as important facilitators to the UN’s development goals like how the Arc initiative is meant to facilitate social enterprises.