What is social entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship is a way of doing business in an effort to make changes in the world through addressing social, cultural, or environmental issues. The individuals or organizations who practice social entrepreneurship develop, fund and implement opportunities to enhance social wealth in an innovative way. They start a business to make a difference.
Characteristics of social entrepreneurship:
These types of businesses share similar qualities such as:
Focus on solving a specific social, cultural, or environmental issue, and strategize innovative ways to find a solution.
Earn a profit and use a portion of that profit to support their mission.
Use feedback and community input to evolve and implement changes in the most suitable way possible.
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Examples of social entrepreneurs:
TOMS: This company is one of the most recognizable social enterprises. TOMS started as a way to bring shoes to children in need with their one-for-one program - in other words, for every pair purchased, TOMs donates a pair. They have since expanded to address children’s health, education and economic needs around the world.
Warby Parker: This eyeglass company has distributed over five million pairs of glasses through their ‘buy a pair, give a pair’ program. By doing so, they are able to address a problem that many people across the globe struggle with: Access to proper vision care.
Hara House: This is one of the first zero waste guest houses in North India, located in Bikaner, Rajasthan. It stands as a prime example of what the tourism industry could be with the goal of one day becoming a nationwide sustainable property chain that leads impactful change.
Types of organizational models:
Non-profit social venture: An organization without the goal of earning an income which uses all of its available resources in an innovative way to address social needs and challenges. Outside funding is required to run the venture, but is often mutually beneficial due to the fact that the philanthropic investors have a personal stake in the success of the venture.
For-profit social venture: An organization still focused on earning income, yet designed to impact change or solve a social problem. Social entrepreneurship ventures differ from traditional corporate businesses in that their focus is to grow the social endeavor rather than increase profit.
Hybrid social venture: A non-profit organization that is willing to generate revenue. It does so by blurring the lines between the non-profit and for-profit sectors, in order to maintain initiatives with social or community objectives. These organizations’ structures can vary depending on the degree of priority for their social and profit-based initiatives.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a social entrepreneur?
Someone who has a business idea, or sets up a business idea with the aim of solving a community, or global problem. A social entrepreneur might start a company that finances crafts people in developing countries with the aim of helping them sell more, and reach a wider audience.
What is the goal of a social entrepreneur?
The goal of a social entrepreneur is to create a business that goes beyond just generating profit. Their aim is a business that helps others within a community or on a larger global scale. It might be a business that helps prevent climate change, promotes a more sustainable way of living, or it might be one that promotes a social cause - more women in the workforce, for example.
What are some of the advantages of social entrepreneurship?
There are many. Prime among the top are - giving back and doing good. But other advantages include being your own boss, working with creative people who are also inspired to do good.
What are some of the disadvantages of social entrepreneurship?
Funding can be hard to secure and maintain. Running a social entrepreneurship comes with many of the same challenges as starting and running any type of business - funding, management, staffing, marketing, generating leads.