What is Social Entrepreneurship?

A new set of behaviors is forcing a rethink of old, ossified ideas about cold-blooded capitalism. We are seeing the emergence of a structure best described as The Impact Economy. This is not some bubble-driven phenomenon, but a recalibration of supply and demand based on a more accurate system of measures that internalizes externalities and prioritizes impact. It imagines a new equilibrium predicated on a social contract influenced as much by Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments rather than only The Wealth of Nations. It conceives of a values-led, mission-driven marketplace wherein true gains are those outcomes that achieve market-rate financial returns without entirely trading off on social good. ~Jonathan Greenblatt 

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As per the Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation (CSEF):

What is a Social Enterprise?

Social enterprises are social mission driven organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. The movement includes both non-profits that use business models to pursue their mission and for-profits whose primary purposes are social. Their aim is to accomplish targets that are social and/or environmental as well as financial: is often referred to as the triple bottom line. Many commercial businesses would consider themselves to have social objectives, but social enterprises are distinctive because their social or environmental purpose remains central to their operation.

What is a Social Entrepreneur?

A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change (a social venture).

Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur focuses on creating social capital. Thus, the main aim of social entrepreneurship is to further social and environmental goals.

However, whilst social entrepreneurs are most commonly associated with the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors, this need not necessarily be incompatible with making a profit.

Who are Social Entrepreneurs?

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.

Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps.

 CSEF

Social entrepreneurs often seem to be possessed by their ideas, committing their lives to changing the direction of their field. They are both visionaries and ultimate realists, concerned with the practical implementation of their vision above all else.

Each social entrepreneur presents ideas that are user-friendly, understandable, ethical, and engage widespread support in order to maximize the number of local people that will stand up, seize their idea, and implement with it. In other words, every leading social entrepreneur is a mass recruiter of local changemakers, role model proving that citizens who channel their passion into action can do almost anything.

Over the past two decades, the citizen sector has discovered what the business sector learned long ago: There is nothing as powerful as a new idea in the hands of a first-class entrepreneur.

To learn more visit: http://www.csef.ca/what_is_a_social_entrepreneur.php

One comment on “What is Social Entrepreneurship?

  1. I love this new site – I think more people will understand what it means to be a social entrepreneur. And you are right, the government can’t always perform a social role as well as small enterprises.

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