What is Social Entrepreneurship

Social EntrepreneurshipThe Wikipedia defines Social Entrepreneurship as the attempt to draw upon business techniques and private sector approaches to find solutions to social, cultural, or environmental problems. This concept may be applied to a variety of organizations with different sizes, aims, and beliefs.Social entrepreneurship typically attempts to further broad social, cultural, and environmental goals often associated with the voluntary sector. At times, profit also may be a consideration for social enterprises, but not as an end in itself, but rather as a means to further the social or cultural goals of the organization.

At CSIM, we envisage Social Entrepreneurs

  • Building competence and capability to provide professional service and effective results in the social sector
  • Being creative and innovative while planning and delivering service
  • Developing knowledge, skills and practices that sustain the organizational mission and support the individual’s passion for social work
  • Creating a sustainable and scalable model that can reach a broader range of people, places and contexts

A social entrepreneur identifies and solves social problems on a large scale. Just as business entrepreneurs create and transform whole industries, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss.

“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.”

– Bill Drayton, CEO, chair and founder of Ashoka

They improve systems, invent and disseminate new approaches and advance sustainable solutions that create social value. Unlike traditional business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs primarily seek to generate “social value” rather than profits. And unlike the majority of non-profit organizations, their work is targeted not only towards immediate, small-scale effects, but sweeping, long-term change

The job of a social entrepreneur is to recognize when a part of society is stuck and to provide new ways to get it unstuck. He or she finds what is not working and solves the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution and persuading entire societies to take new leaps.

“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

Identifying and solving large-scale social problems requires a committed person with a vision and determination to persist in the face of daunting odds. Ultimately, social entrepreneurs are driven to produce measurable impact by opening up new pathways for the marginalized and disadvantaged, and unlocking society’s full potential to effect social change.