The 21st century is a time of rapid technological advancement, globalisation, social connectivity and even social evolving societal challenges. The fact is that although much progress has been achieved compared to the 20th century, citizens all over the world still deal with climate change, mental health issues, political polarisation, etc. As a result, these last years, more and more people have decided to become entrepreneurs by aiming to satisfy the lack or gap of resources to face these issues. In any case, the tide is changing, and some entrepreneurs/entrepreneurial companies need help to fulfil their aims. It is at this point that social entrepreneurship emerges. But what is social entrepreneurship about?
Social entrepreneurship refers to using entrepreneurial principles and strategies to address social or environmental challenges. More precisely, social entrepreneurship is a concept that combines the drive and creativity of traditional entrepreneurship together with a strong focus on creating a social positive impact. Furthermore, along with the social impact, this is characterised by 1) innovation, breaking with existing systems or traditional practices; 2) sustainability, seeking to create lasting solutions; 3) empowerment, providing people and communities with opportunities, resources and skills, and 4) measurable impact, making sure of the social impact it will have.
Bearing all this information in mind, what would happen if the benefits of 3D technologies and social entrepreneurship were to come together? Nonetheless, first of all, it is necessary to explain what 3D technologies are. These can be described as a range of technologies, for instance, 3D modelling, 3D printing, virtual reality (VR), etc., aiming to create, capture, display, or manipulate three-dimensional objects or environments based on computer-based tools. In addition, 3D technologies rely on several strengths, such as: 1) enhance visualisation, a more realistic representation of the objects is offered; 2) improve communication, 3D models facilitate better communication and collaboration, 3) gaming and entertainment, movies and animations are visually more captivating and 4) education and training, allows students to explore complex contents in a more engaging way.
Consequently, the combination between social entrepreneurship and 3D technologies can be considered to be a powerful tool to create a social positive impact in addition to influencing the capabilities of 3D printing, design or modelling for students, for example. Nevertheless, the fusion of social entrepreneurship and 3D technology necessitates innovation, compassion, and a great understanding of the targeted social issues. Although it may demand a substantial investment of time and energy, the potential for impact is valuable.