Social Entrepreneurship

by Melody Morrow

According to The New Heroes website it states that unlike traditional business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs primarily seek to generate social value rather than profits. Unlike the majority of non-profit organizations, their work is targeted not only towards immediate, small-scale effects, but sweeping long term change. Not sure I agree with the latter part because a few of the non-profits have made those changes.

Bill Drayton, CEO, Chair and Founder of Ashoka in1980 says, “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” It’s mission is to strive to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world’s citizens to think and act as changemakers.The key word he uses is revolutionary. Not working in the system, but changing it.

Schools like Columbia and Wittenburg University are creating curriculum for the budding socialpreneur. Financial resources have been created like Acumen Fund who tries to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas. Leaders are taking shape through organizations like Ashoka, etc. Interestingly, Wittenburg University created a partnership between their social entrepreneurship department and the Village Markets of Africa so students gain real life experience working directly with the producers.

There are many companies who have come to the forefront in the past 20 years fostering some healthy competition. Social media buzz is certainly a big proponent now, but these change agents I am sure found many ways to communicate their mission before Twitter and Facebook were in “vogue”. The work of a social entrepreneur has brought medicine, water, energy, the environment and other resources to those most in need.

There are iinnovative companies whose fearless leaders presented a strong will, a formidable plan and an inventive idea to make change happen. Check out the The Forbes Impact 30 List to see who’s who, which includes Charity Water and many others. Muhammed Yunus, a pioneer and Nobel Peace Prize winner, in trying to alleviate poverty has done so by empowering people to earn a living. His Grameen Bank has provided 4.7 billion dollars in loans to 4.4 million families in Bangladesh and has inspired other countries to do the same.

Do you know a budding social entrepreneur?

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