All over the world there are a growing number of social entrepreneurs that are realising that a narrow focus on money can be a barrier to tackling social issues.
These champions are developing new concepts and models to access latent and locked up resources that will fund their ideas. Some of these strategies include Asset Based Community Development-that starts with what a community has and not what they need, Alternative Currencies; such as the Bristol Pound, Digital gold currencies and Time Dollar, Trade by Barter Clubs and Community Exchange Programmes are a testament to this philosophy.
Social entrepreneurs are increasingly replacing money by having a broader appreciation and understanding of capital, thereby broadening the scope of accessing more resources that will enable them to meet their objectives.
A need for money can be a limiting factor; however, an understanding of capital can be liberating.
An understanding and skilful use of capital unleashes the power to resource social goals.
Money is just one aspect of capital known as economic or financial capital; yet, capital also includes:
- Social Capital: which is the relationships between people communities and their networks;
- Human Capital: this covers the labour and intellectual potential people bring to the table;
- Environmental Capital: which deals with the physical and natural assets we have in our community, they can be utilised to further our objectives; for example, natural resources like our climate, rivers, natural habitations that exist in mountains or community centres available for use free of charge, etc.
- Spiritual Capital: this is the advantages people have as a result of their faith, for example, using a churches building, or worship places to fulfil social entrepreneurial objectives.
- Cultural Capital: our understanding of our local culture and values that society upholds; knowledge of cultural capital can be used to unlock other capitals.
- Symbolic Capital: includes access to resources available to us through honour and prestige e.g. a war hero's endorsement of a community initiative that could attract funding and support.