Marginalized Community: A marginalized community is a group that’s confined to the lower or peripheral edge of the society. Such a group is denied involvement in mainstream economic, political, cultural and social activities. Marginalization or social exclusion deprives a group of its rightful share of reach to productive resources and ways to utilize its maximum potential for prosperity. It’s directed at groups who are seen to differ from perceived norms.
Marginalization can affect a community at the macro-level, where its members may lack access to affordable formal education, equal employment or gender-related opportunities. At this level, victims are denied influence or access to the official power structure and can’t participate in decision-making processes. At the micro-level, exclusion is manifested in income discrepancies, occupational status, and social networking around race, religion or gender.
Social enterprises apply business solutions to social problems. The ultimate goal is to achieve sustainability by enabling non-profits to support themselves financially in innovative ways instead of relying solely on grants and donations. Since there are no shareholders in a non-profit organization, the profits from the related social enterprise are completely re-invested in the work of the organization.
The emergence of revenue-generating activities for non-profits has created a new operating model where business principles, market characteristics and values (competition, diversification, entrepreneurship, innovation, and a focus on the bottom line) co-exist and work with traditional public sector values like responsiveness to community and serving the public interest. Essential to the success of a social enterprise is an effective business model.
A business model includes two key elements:
- an operating strategy that includes internal organizational structure and external partnerships that are crucial for creating the organization’s intended impact; and,
- a resource strategy that defines where and on what terms the organization will acquire the resources (financial and human) it needs to do its work.
The business model for a social enterprise is the channel that the social entrepreneur converts inputs into outcomes; the generation of both social value (measurable impact) and economic value (revenue).
A social enterprise can be integrated with the non-profit organization in one of several ways:
- The enterprise and the social program are one and the same
- The business is created to serve clients (central to the mission)
- The business activities overlap with the social programs
- The business is created as a funding mechanism and to expand/enhance the mission of the organization
- Social and business activities are separate and may or may not be related to the mission of the organization
- The business is created mainly as a funding mechanism to support social activities
Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): What is Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining? Back to Q&A List Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) refers to informal mining activities carried out using low technology or with minimal machinery. It is estimated that more than 100 million people rely on this sector for income, mainly in developing nations.  In some areas ASM takes place alongside large-scale formal mining leading to conflicts. Artisanal & Small-scale Mining (ASM) Overview The term Artisanal & Small-scale Mining (ASM) broadly refers to mining practiced by individuals, groups or communities often informally (illegally) and in developing nations.
A common definition for this sector has not been adopted as its legal status, defining criteria, and local definitions vary from country to country.
For the purpose of Fondo Santa Barbara projects we are using the following definitions:
- Artisanal Mining – low tech, low barrier to entry, minimal capital exposure, generally informal, usually without formal mineral rights.
- Small Mining – higher tech with some barriers to entry, measureable capital required, usually down-sized version of formal mining, usually with formal mineral rights.
- Micro Mining – small version of Artisanal Mining or possibly Small Mining, most of the value is created immediately down-stream with craft or artistic skills and sales/marketing, minimal capital or technology required, usually mineral rights not particularly relevant in that the value of the mined product without down-steam processing and marketing is minimal, some training to add value and market is required.
It is difficult to estimate the extent of ASM due to the lack of a common definition, its use of seasonal and occasional workers, and a lack of official statistics. In 1999 there were a reported 13 million people working directly in ASM, with the livelihoods of a further 80-100 million people affected indirectly.[1, p.11]. A more recent estimate notes that these numbers have likely risen in response to higher gold and commodity prices, and that there are now at least 25 million artisanal miners, with 150-170 million people indirectly reliant on ASM.[2, p.9]
The reasons that individuals enter ASM are varied and include both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. In Africa, increased participation in ASM has been linked to a decline in the viability of agriculture, or as a way to supplement agricultural income. Other push factors include poverty, conflict, natural disasters, or economic crisis. Pull factors that encourage people to enter this sector include the potential for high profits or gold-rush type situations.
Key Features of Artisanal & Small-scale Mining (ASM)
In the absence of a common definition, Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) is often characterized by its key features, which include: Minimal machinery or technology used; instead, ASM mining relies on simple techniques and physical labour; Operates without legal mining titles (concession, claim) or a valid contract with the title holder; Low productivity since ASM often takes place in very small or marginal plots, is limited to surface or alluvial mining, and uses inefficient techniques. (However, total recovery is improved by repetitive scavenging & reprocessing); Lack of safety measures, health care or environmental protections; May be practised seasonally (e.g., to supplement farm incomes) or temporarily in response to high commodity prices; and Economic insecurity.
ASM can potentially contribute to development by providing employment, increasing local purchasing power, stimulating local economic growth and slowing urban migration. However, this sector also creates social, environmental and financial challenges that may undermine development. – See more at: http://www.miningfacts.org/communities/what-is-artisanal-and-small-scale-mining/#sthash.yWyq4ArU.dpuf
1 Hentschel, T., et al., Global Report on Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining, 2002, Minerals, Mining and Sustainable Development [MMSD].
2 Hruschka, F. and C. Echavarria, Rock-Solid Chances: For Responsible Artisanal Mining, in Series on Responisble ASM, No. 3 2011, Alliance for Responsible Mining [ARM]. – See more at: http://www.miningfacts.org/communities/what-is-artisanal-and-small-scale-mining/#sthash.yWyq4ArU.dpuf