The entrepreneurial journey of a social organisation

In an era marked by dynamic challenges and evolving community needs, the concept of resilience has become increasingly central to humanitarian and developmental discourse. Against this backdrop, the intersection of social entrepreneurship /social enterprise and resilience emerges as a promising avenue for driving sustainable change.

Since its creation in 1863, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is known for being on the frontline of humanitarian crises. Yet, for decades, National Societ – ies (NS) have also been exploring social entrepreneurship to amplify their capacity to empower communities and bolster resilience, building bridges with external actors like governments, businesses, or social entrepreneurs. Indeed, National Societies are uniquely positioned to catalyse local development and fortify community resilience. By nurturing a culture of social entrepreneurship, NS can harness local talents, resources, and aspirations to effect positive change from within. This necessitates concerted efforts to ensure the resilience of National Societies at the organisational level, enabling them to deliver services that are pertinent, high-quality, and accessible while upholding the 7 fundamental Principles. Recognising financial sustainability as a linchpin of National Society Development, it is imperative to collectively invest in initiatives that strengthen the autonomy of National Societies with the support of a mix of domestic and inter – national partners. Of particular salience is the imperative to connect and leverage initiatives across the four pillars of National Society Financial Sustainability, with a keen focus on Resource Mobilisation. Within Resource Mobilisation, initiatives pertaining to Income-Generating Activities (IGA), Social Enterprise, and Social Entrepreneurship emerge as pivotal game-changers. These initiatives mitigate National Societies’ reliance on external funding and partners and foster social impact and empowerment at the grassroots level, positioning beneficiaries and volunteers as architects of their own resilience.

By embracing social entrepreneurship as a catalyst for community empowerment, sustainable organisational development, and financial resilience, National Societies can chart a course towards more inclusive, self-reliant, and resilient communities. In subsequent sections, this report will delve deeper into successful examples of how social entrepreneurship can be operationalised within the NSD and the National Society Financial Sustainability frameworks, spotlighting best prac – tices, case studies, and actionable recommendations for galvanising stakeholders towards collective action. We hope this report will spark the interest and curiosity of volunteers, employees and partners of National Societies, to improve our capacities and be able to meet the needs of the people we are working for.

Explore the report How to foster resilience via social entrepreneurship by the French Red Cross, the Austrian Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.