The COVID-19 pandemic has brought inequalities in our societies into sharp focus. From healthcare to education or social protection, almost every sector was at some extent hit and caught off-guard not only in developing economies but among advanced ones as well. Although social and economic inequalities are no recent phenomena, the pandemic exposed them further while urging immediate solutions to protect people and societies from falling into deeper crises.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the health crisis, due to its global nature, will dry up vital sources of income for all countries, but mostly for poor and fragile countries.
Hence IMF proposed solutions that highlight solidarity towards migrant workers and poor countries.
This approach is in line with the United Nations' concern over a lack of sufficient solidarity with the world’s developing countries that need support in responding to the worst economic and social crisis in generations.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed out that the threat of unemployment can cause a domino effect as millions of children risk missing life-saving vaccines and that those officially living in poverty could rise by around 500 million. This would be the first increase in three decades.
Official facts show that children in the poorest 20 percent of the population are still up to three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children in rich countries. At the same time, a new publication from the International Labor Organization points out that the crisis will have a severe impact on youth and especially women's access to education and training, employment opportunities, and income.
All these issues, related to inequalities in health, social, economic, and political inclusion of children, women, youth, migrants, and societies, in general, are addressed by Sustainable Development Goal 10, Reduced Inequalities, and its targets.
The role of social entrepreneurship in reducing inequalities
The world we’re living in can be highly unequal, yet possibilities of social entrepreneurship and innovations can be available even in developing and poor societies. Connectivity has now a huge role in driving novelty and access to knowledge and social mobility. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines social mobility as the movement of individuals, families, or groups through a system of social hierarchy or stratification. Indeed the number of self-employed people and small and medium-sized enterprises has been growing in many countries. Further on, a social movement is often fueled by educational opportunities. It never enough to highlight the role of education in achieving social mobility and consequently increase income mobility. As the Encyclopedia Britannica points out “most recently, in postindustrial societies, inequality seems to be increasing between highly educated and poorly educated workers or between those with access to evolving technologies and those who lack such access.”
This is the point when some people start to think about the famous question “What if the solution for whatever big problem is on the mind of someone that had no proper access to education.”
Even though the pandemic has slowed down reforms and progress towards Goal 4, accessible education for everyone must be a priority for all societies. It will be crucial to the post-pandemic economic and social recovery due to its essential role in increasing economic growth.
On the other hand, the situation requires fast and efficient educational methods and entrepreneurial education is one of them. We are born with many abilities, but an impressing one is the ability to adapt to change. In a world that changes at a fast and even unpredicted pace, the knowledge provided by the traditional curricula might fall behind. In such a world, children, youth, adults need the mindset to think about innovative solutions to overcome challenges or in other words to survive. This is what happens in business. Thus it is important to not forget this ability and to invest in the mindset that would help identify solutions out of problems fast.
At the Entrepreneurship Campus, you can take free online training courses. The Brains versus Capital course is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Prof. Günter Faltin and supports entrepreneurs (in the making) to further develop their ideas and projects. The Sustainable Entrepreneurship course focuses on the topic of sustainability and shows how entrepreneurs establish and run sustainable companies.
Entrepreneurship is a tool for economic growth and if it’s purpose-driven entrepreneurship it can be a tool for social change. Back to our first question, entrepreneurial education with the social concept in mind is a solution for reducing social and economic inequalities.
Can you think about an idea that can help to address this issue based on your community circumstances? You can join the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition and gain entrepreneurial knowledge while interacting with a community of social entrepreneurs from all over the world.
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