SAGE focuses on training young entrepreneurs because, for many, their creative energy has not been dampened by life’s harsher realities. According to Prahalad (2005), market development at the bottom of the pyramid can create millions of new entrepreneurs at the grass roots level—from women working as distributors and entrepreneurs to village-level micro enterprises. He emphasized that “entrepreneurship on a massive scale is the key.”
The combination of entrepreneurship and social enterprise provides a formula for a new kind of capitalism—a more humanitarian capitalism—espoused by Nobel Laureate, Muhammad Yunus, Yunus (2007) asserts that “We need to reform the capitalist system to make room for social enterprise.” In his view, generating ideas for social businesses is the most important, immediate challenge of today’s business thinkers.”
- THE CHALLENGES POSED BY SOCIAL NEEDS
- Unmet social needs continue to proliferate
- There is an increasing awareness that the social problems and challenges we face are global and interconnected
- THE PROMISE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- Entrepreneurship has become broadly accepted as a productive way to address social needs
- A GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF TEENAGERS READY AND WILLING TO HELP
- Teenagers have a growing understanding of the social needs that threaten our global community — and they want to help
- They are increasingly knowledgeable about conditions in other countries
- Modern communications technology makes it much easier for teenagers in different parts of the world to collaborate
- Because they are no longer so isolated from each other, teenagers also have a heightened sensitivity and respect for cross-cultural differences
- They have a genuine desire to work together to address social needs
Rather than competing with existing teenage and high-school organizations and courses, SAGE invites all organizations and courses, without charge, to showcase the entrepreneurial innovation and creativity of teenage youth before a panel of influential leaders, while developing a direct connection to nearby colleges and universities.
By helping interested organizations, schools, and universities set up and operate competitions, SAGE becomes a tool to draw more youth interest to entrepreneurship and community service. The intent is that, as more youth take part, more become economically self-reliant, civically active, and socially responsible—critical traits needed in building a better future in every community.
Whatever their career interests, youth are encouraged to participate because of the benefits to be had, for themselves and their communities. A dynamic SAGE team might consist of students interested in business, others in political science and public administration, others in cultures and languages, yet others in natural sciences and social sciences.