If you have an idea that might minimize issues faced in your society, what would you do about it? In Maldives, unemployment and teens unable to study further because of financial situations are problems that gets me thinking a lot. As much as I want to help my society with providing possible solutions to these problems, I also have a dream of starting a supermart in Maldives and top it up. I believe that the social issues mentioned can be tackled by starting a social enterprise.
What is actually a social enterprise? “Social enterprises are purpose-driven organizations that trade to deliver social and environmental impact” (Moe, 2018). These organizations helps in developing social wellbeing, growth in economy and a better environment. It will increase innovation in society, more training and employment opportunities, helping to find solutions to the problems and creating better relationship with business sector and the community (Akina.org, 2018). As for my organization, a supermart, it is less about maximizing profit but more about what the society needs and how we can help those needs.
Opening a supermart will be very costly but the returns can be huge. To open this business a land and investment is the most important things. With this achieved, the work of opening the business will be started. And marketing the mart and advertisements will be put on mainly on social networks. This supermart will be a one-stop supermart focusing on mainly food products such as from meat products, dairy products but will also sell kitchen supplies, household cleaning products and many other products usually found in other supermart stores. We will also conduct promotions for seasonal events and selling the products at the cheapest price even out of promotions to attract more customers.
One of the serious problems faced by Maldives is unemployment. Unemployment simply means that a person is prepared to work but not being able find to find a job (Viswanathan, 2016). Many potential youths and even degree holders are unemployed today in Maldives. According to Statista.com, unemployment rate in Maldives is 5% of the total population and a quarter of the youth is unemployed (Statista.com, 2018). The main effect of prolonged joblessness is financial issues caused by it. We all need money to buy things and to fulfill our needs. Even the 3 basic needs of a human require money. We need money to eat and stay healthy and clothes to maintain our hygiene. Because of no earnings, people are finding it difficult to meet financial obligations like paying monthly bills or paying rent and sometimes leading to homelessness. Having no money also prevents people from doing activities they like and reduces overall purchasing capacity of the country (Viswanathan, 2016). Lack of employment also causes increase in stress levels due to more spare time. Stress leads to drug usage, domestic violence, divorce rate, suicide rates and crime rates. “Unemployment and poverty goes side by side. The problem of unemployment gives rise to the problem of poverty” (Viswanathan, 2016).
Another social problem faced in Maldives is teens not being able to afford to go to college or higher education. Though college is very important to individual development, it helps in development of the society too. The human mind starts to mature and completely develop in the early twenties (Paschal, 2017). Mental growth is also important at this stage. Studying at this age can help students to develop their brains. These students can learn more about themselves and our society and averagely earn more money over their lifetime. “Attainment of a post-secondary degree can positively enhance students’ lives and the lives of all of those around them” (Bona, 2018).
Opening a new business will be challenging. Even more, opening a brand new business with social motives can be more challenging. Therefore it will need a good amount of capital from investors and other ways. With personal earnings and investors, this supermart will be opened in Male’, the capital of Maldives and my vision is to widen the business in other atolls later as it grows. After ensuring of smooth running of the business, 40% of the businesses profit will be spent or given to help reduce unemployment and increase education in teens.
To help with the unemployment issue, we will help individuals financially, who are willing to start small businesses. This will slowly create more employment opportunities and help our economy grow. If we look at America itself, “today, the nearly 600,000 franchised small businesses such as restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops, and retail outlets across America provide 8 million jobs, and account for nearly 40% of retail sales” (Hales, 2016). This alone proves how small businesses can provide employment opportunities. They don’t always stay small. In time, they evolve and grow into more successful larger businesses. Nike started as a small business and they can be an example for this. The main reason for them to grow in their market is because of customer loyalty. When small businesses start, they are mostly very customer oriented and easily gain the trust of local customers. Growing with such an established business image, it is highly likely for them to succeed when they become large hence creating even more employment and economic growth in its community (Brown, 2018). Small businesses also hire less qualified individuals who might be rejected by larger organizations.
As for the financial issues faced by teens to go to college, cost of higher education is increasing and teens are finding less credit options for them to afford the pay. Therefore we will give scholarships to 5 teens every year to study up to a degree of their choice. This will be chosen randomly from teens who applied for it. As mentioned above, a successful college and higher education leads to personal and economic growth, helping the community.
In conclusion our situation can only be changed by us. With a 40% of the profit of my business, I will invest in new businesses so that they can hire the people who are in need of a job to fulfill their day-to-day needs. These people, mostly young adults are becoming less productive and most of the time participating in bad habits that might affect the community in corrupt ways due to unemployment and too much free time. As for teens having financial issues for college or higher education, helping them by giving scholarships will increase educated young, potential adults in the society. By investing in new businesses and helping the unemployed with jobs and giving chances to teens who wants to study further, the society will prosper, minimizing these issues and awareness can be spread so other businesses will also follow.