The term non-governmental organisation (NGO) has the connotation and literal meaning of a group of people performing social projects parallel to government services. One of the earliest mentions of the term was just after the formation of the United Nations, immediately after the World War II. It worked well in that context as most countries and communities were suffering during the aftermath of that war; there was little trust and resources for state services and outside funding agencies worked with civil society to implement social projects to restore the well-being of communities.
It is better to make a difference than to be rich, according to Susan Steinman, head of the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Economy at the University of Johannesburg.
Steinman says South Africa needs to stimulate social enterprises which focus on creating businesses for the primary purpose of social development.
"While start-up social enterprises are grant-dependent, mature social enterprises trade in goods or services to raise income for the social purpose and in many cases show a profit," she explains.