Photo by Lelia Milaya
For social entrepreneurs, it often seems that the work never ends. In the midst of continually striving towards new goals, building on ideas, and creating something purposeful, breaks are difficult to come by.
Nevertheless, summer is a time when even the busiest entrepreneur can take refuge in the sun, find time to close their eyes, and—best of all—recharge with a good book.
Here we have a few summer reading recommendations to recharge before jumping into the next season of your business.
01 | A BOOK ON BUSINESS-LAUNCH YOUR DREAM BY DALE PARTRIDGE
If you ever feel bogged down in the details and limitless skill requirements of being a social entrepreneur, Launch Your Dream gives helpful breakdowns about the individual tasks that come together to make up a business. With simple challenges at the end of each chapter, readers have a chance to refocus and get their perspectives in line with the next stage of where their enterprise is heading. This book is focused on helping in a thirty-day process but is a great, easy read for anyone at any stage of their work to ensure that they are putting the correct people and processes in place.
02 | A MEMOIR-OBRONI AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY BY STEVEN WALLACE
The autobiographical tale of Ghana’s first locally run chocolate company, this book is filled with everything from practical business advice to hilarious anecdotes that tell about Steven Wallace’s time in Ghana as a teenager and how he came to start a chocolate factory that defied the odds. A great read for the social entrepreneur who needs a bit of hopeful momentum, be prepared for some chocolate cravings along the way and be sure to meet them with a bit of fair trade goodness.
03 | A BOOK ON GLOBAL ECONOMICS -POOR ECONOMICS BY ABHIJIT V. BANNERJEE AND ESTHER DUFLO
For social entrepreneurs whose work is focused in the developing world, this book devised by two MIT professors is an excellent resource for understanding some of the challenges and cultural aspects unfamiliar to western mindsets. Perhaps one of the most useful aspects of Poor Economics is that, unlike many books on development, it does not appeal primarily to emotions, but rather looks at poverty alleviation through a scientific lens. While most social entrepreneurs can empathize and connect with their purpose, having a view of developmental economics can be refreshing and inspiring.
04 | A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON INDEPENDENCE-THE BRIGHT CONTINENT BY DAYO OLOPADE
One of the most important aspects of working for social good is understanding the independence and abilities of individual people. In every aspect that our business is meant to help, we are to treat others with dignity. Dayo Olopade’s book examines the independence of Africa and how that is often overlooked by well-meaning people who have a desire to help. While this is written specifically in reference to development and employment across Africa, the principles can be used in just about any area or people group to ensure that social enterprise is being done with respect.
05 | A WORK OF FICTION-THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY BY JAMES THURBER
A final book that social entrepreneurs ought to read this summer is the brief, illustrated work about a man who tries to escape his boring circumstances through the exciting adventures that take place in his mind. Significantly different from the film adaptation, it remains a refreshing tale that reminds us to get out of the drudgery and live life. Keep every day fresh and new, and remember that the world is not resting on your shoulders. Adventure is to be had, and no amount of work or stress should keep us from that gift.