When we talk about social innovation we mean new ideas which tackle social needs, good actions for the society and they can be a product, service, initiative or a new model to the delivery public services. Reasons behind this demand, are the presence of unsatisfied needs such as health services, environmental emergences or social needs. Social innovation is a new approach, more efficient and immediate of the application of a new idea, product or service (https://bando.che-fare.com/vademecum/3-concetti-e-definizioni-sullinnovazione-sociale).
A social enterprise, as defined by European Commission, has three features: those for who the social or societal objective of the common good is the reason for the commercial activity, often in the form of a high level of social innovation; those where profits are mainly reinvested with a view to achieving this social objective; those where the method of organisation or ownership system reflects the enterprise’s mission, using democratic or participatory principles or focusing on social justice (http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/social-economy/enterprises_it).
More often, there are social enterprises that use new technologies to improve peopleâ€™s life chances and below there are a couple of examples:
- APOPO is a social enterprise, a Belgian NGO, with headquarters in Tanzania and it takes care to researches, develops and implements detections rats technology for Humanitarian aims such as Mine Action and Tuberculosis detection. APOPO with local partnerÂ Cambodian Mine Action Centre are working together for a humanitarian landmine clearance projectÂ in Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap Provinces targeting the most mine-affected villages in order to return mine-free land back to its people; according to the statistics 4,994 landmines have been found and neutralized (https://www.apopo.org/en/about/results/impact).
- CAMARA EDUCATION is an Irish social enterprise that send repaired computers and provide digital literacy training to school and other organizations around the world. Their mission is to delivering real impact through technology by inspiring and empowering a young generation to improve their own life opportunities. They believe that â€œpoverty is unacceptable in the 21st century; education is the key to alleviating poverty; technology has the ability to radically improve educationâ€. What they provide to schools is computer and educational software packages, teaching training, technical support and end of life, meant as computers have to be returned to the hubs at the end of their use (http://camara.org/).