Entrepreneurship is fast becoming a crucial factor in the development of societies. While it results in lower unemployment rates and possibly accelerated structural changes in the economy, it also promotes improved productivity. Social entrepreneurship is based on these principles, but differs slightly.
Social entrepreneurship is a term that encompasses a unique approach to economic and social problems.
While entrepreneurship is about running sustainable businesses with the aim of making a profit, social entrepreneurship is similar, but seeks to create solutions to social problems. It is about applying practical and sustainable approaches to benefit society in general.
Organisational models that social entrepreneurs may adopt include:
- Leveraged non-profit ventures
- Hybrid non-profit ventures
- Social business ventures
Social entrepreneurship draws upon business techniques to find solutions to social problems. It essentially relies on creative, non-traditional strategies used by social entrepreneurs.
Social entrepreneurs take into account a positive return to society, over and above profit and return.
While there is still a debate about the true definition of social entrepreneurship, what remains constant is that it focuses on maximising gains in social satisfaction, rather than maximising profit gains.
Taking risks is a large part of the entrepreneurial journey. Entrepreneurs are driven and are also willing to take the necessary risks in order to achieve their business goals.
Social entrepreneurship is all about driving social innovation and transformation. It is about disrupting various industries such as education or the financial industry.
“Whenever society is stuck or has an opportunity to seize a new opportunity, it needs an entrepreneur to see the opportunity and then to turn that vision into a realistic idea and then a reality and then, indeed, the new pattern across society. We need such entrepreneurial leadership at least as much in education and human rights as we do in communications and hotels. This is the work of social entrepreneurs,” says Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public.