Social enterprise as the game-changer: embracing innovation and dynamism in contemporary social work practice in Zimbabwe
The integration of economic and social value creation through social entrepreneurship has become a global phenomenon. Only recently, social work practitioners, researchers, and academics have begun to explore social entrepreneurship including its significance to social work practice. This paper discusses social enterprise as an innovative and dynamic approach to social work practice which addresses complex societal challenges within a constrained but constantly changing environment. Since social entrepreneurship embraces the application of business acumen to raise income for the purposes of supporting a social mission, its application to social work practice in Zimbabwe’s voluntary sector has become indispensable, given the dwindling state and donor funds to support and sustain social services delivery. The paper underscores that since social enterprise is premised on a culture of innovation, openness and adaption, it represents a hands-on approach to sustainable community economic development. This article concludes by proposing strategies for incorporating entrepreneurial initiatives in community and social sector agencies. Furthermore, the paper calls upon Zimbabwean social work educators to incorporate the concept of social entrepreneurship as it resonates with contemporary social work practice.
KEY TERMS: Social work practice, social entrepreneurship, innovation, social value and dynamism