Social entrepreneurs are creative individuals who provide solutions for the most complicated social problems. These capable people are able to identify the problem at hand and come up with the most effective methods to spread palpable ideas so that the society, as a whole, will be able to cooperate to overcome the crisis. A social entrepreneur is ambitious, motivated, resourceful, and results-oriented.
Through social entrepreneurship, businesses not only earn profit, but are able to address social and environmental issues at the same time. Social enterprises are commercial businesses that usually have a “triple bottom line” directive. The triple bottom line comprise of people, profits, and the planet. Through the implementation of TBL, businesses become socially and environmentally conscious and are run in a more responsible manner.
Why “Social” Entrepreneur?
Social entrepreneurs are the pioneers of innovation in the business landscape, easily spotting opportunities others miss, and developing systems, making ground-breaking discoveries, and coming up with solutions to help improve society. The difference between a business entrepreneur and a social entrepreneur is that the latter comes up with resourceful ideas that address social problems, and then implements them on a bigger scale.
There is an argument saying that only founders of socially beneficial organizations that mainly depend on profits from paying customers are social entrepreneurs. On the other side of the debate, it is said that the term only applies to founders who initiate change, and exclude so-called “intrepreneurs”, who start changing the company or organization from the inside.
What is the difference between a social enterprise and a nonprofit organization?
People are often confused when dealing with social enterprises, nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In differentiating between a nonprofit and social enterprise, one must first look at its revenue model. Nonprofits rely heavily on charitable contributions, public funding and foundation grants to support their programs and operations.
A social enterprise is first and foremost a business. They have a steady stream of income, and just like any other company, it takes loans, invites capital investments, forms partnerships etc. in order to expand its business activities.
The main goal of a nonprofit enterprise is to create social value, without much regard for the business bottom-line, while the social enterprise aims sustainability in the financial, social and environmental sense.