What is a Social Entrepreneur?
A social entrepreneur is a different kind of social leader who:
- Identifies and applies practical solutions to social problems by combining innovation, resourcefulness and opportunity.
- Innovates by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem
- Focuses first and foremost on social value creation and in that spirit, is willing to share openly the innovations and insights of the initiative with a view to its wider replication
- Doesn't wait to secure the resources before undertaking the catalytic innovation
- Is fully accountable to the constituencies s/he serves
- Resists being trapped by the constraints of ideology or discipline
- Continuously refines and adapts approach in response to feedback
- Has a vision, but also a well-thought out roadmap as to how to attain the goal
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
- Describes an approach to a social issue. It is not a field of discipline that can be learned in academia.
- An approach that cuts across disciplines (medicine, engineering, law, education, investment banking, agronomy, environment, etc.) and is not confined to sectors (health, transportation, finance, labor, trade, and the like).
- More related to leadership than to management
"Social entrepreneurs identify resources where people only see problems. They view the villagers as the solution, not the passive beneficiary. They begin with the assumption of competence and unleash resources in the communities they're serving." David Bornstein, author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
"(Social Entrepreneurs) recognize a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change." Quoted on PBS
"(Social entrepreneurs) act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss in order to improve systems, invent and disseminate new approaches and advance sustainable solutions that create social value." Ashoka
"(Social Entrepreneurs) are driven by a social mission and a desire to find innovative ways to solve social problems that have been neglected by either the market or the public sector." Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership
"(Social Entrepreneurs) are pioneers of innovation that benefit humanity. [Note: Enterprising Ideas is partially funded by the Skoll Foundation.] The Skoll Foundation
"(Social Entrepreneurs) use the disciplines of the corporate world to tackle daunting social problems. Fast Company
"(Social Entrepreneurs) recognize a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Wikipedia
"Social entrepreneurship is) the art of "simultaneously pursuing both a financial and a social return on investment (the double bottom line)." Institute for Social Entrepreneurs
Other terms used in place of "social entrepreneur":
Social capitalist Social innovator Venture philanthropist