Small Business News: Social Entrepreneurship on the Rise

In recognition of Martin Luther King Day, we present a roundup about an important new trend, the rise of social entrepreneurship. Instead of profit, the social entrepreneur seeks social change. But, unlike the social reformer of only a generation ago, the social entrepreneutr goes about accomplishing this change using the tools and precision used in building a for-profit sustainable company. In a sense then, starting one of these new ventures is perhaps less like starting a non-profit organization and more like starting a small business. The product? A better world!


What is a social entrepreneur? Check John Garger’s definition: “…a change agent who works with missionary zeal to create and sustain social values.” Garger goes on to chart the shape of social entrepreneurship today, from a further definition to a comparison of social and business entrepreneurship, challenges of the social sector and more. Here’s social entrepreneurship 101 in a few digestible paragraphs. Bright Hub

Can social entrepreneurship be taught? One leading university has begun experimenting with teaching about social entrepreneurship in the classroom. Yale has begun instructing business students about the problems faced by social enterprises in the real world. What will be the result of a generation educated in the disciplines, needs and ideas of social entrepreneurship? Beyond Profit


Business schools embrace the social entrepreneurship ideal. Specifically, beyond simply studying the problems of social entrepreneurs as indicated above, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University announces an $80,000 social entrepreneurship award. The funding will be granted to students proposing a business model addressing social or environmental challenges and will include mentoring opportunities. Stay tuned. Stacy Blackman

The growing trend of social entrepreneurship. Just like traditional entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, as an alternative to addressing social needs and challenges, may be gaining momentum not only in academia but among investors and a new generation of philanthropists less willing to hand out money to large foundations and other organizations. The key to success in social entrepreneurship, experts say, is to treat it like a business. National Public Radio

Success Stories

Some social entrepreneurship goals can be simple. In a world of high tech gadgets and gizmos, one opinion piece argues that one of the greatest social achievements still to left to accomplish is to provide this technology to a huge portion of the global population who still have little or no access to the bare necessities. This is the story of one such simple venture.

Social entrepreneurship focuses on the underserved niche. Take the Excel Center of Indianapolis targeting the very real problem of high school drop outs. Unlike scores of other programs that focus the majority of their energies on keeping kids in school, however, the Excel Center focuses on a very different task, addressing the issue of too many drop outs by getting adults without high school diplomas back into school. Dowser


Top social entrepreneurship programs. Like top business schools, social entrepreneurship programs of high repute are springing up around the globe. These programs at top schools are a great place for future social entrepreneurs to start in their quest for creating business models that will bring us a better and more just world. Like more traditional business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs make change on their own by creating a sustainable model that helps achieve their goals. Beyond Profit


So, what do social entrepreneurs make? Maybe it seems like an inappropriate question in a business model not necessarily created to make a profit, but then again the concept of social entrepreneurship is about creating sustainable operations. That includes having enough money to pay someone to manage the company and therein lies the problem, because some social entrepreneurs are making little or nothing at all. Social Enterprise Network

Crowdsourcing social entrepreneurship. From small business owners to independent filmmakers, it seems everyone with an idea has jumped on board the crowdsourcing bandwagon. In fact, using crowdsourcing is a trend that should make sense to entrepreneurs since many must first approach those who know and believe in them including family and friends to fund their enterprises. What may be more surprising, is that social entrepreneurship did not latch onto this much sooner. Trailblazers for Good


Promoting social entrepreneurship in Asia. Ashoka: Innovators for the Public announced the opening of an office in Japan this month. The new facility signals the U.S.-based organization’s first permanent presence in Asia. Ashoka has been instrumental in aiding social entrepreneurs the world over and the new headquarters demonstrates another step in that mission. The Japan Times

4 Reactions
  1. It’s about time the schools start teaching this kind of stuff. It seems that we’ve become closed off in our school systems to the changing world. The problem with teaching this stuff in the schools though is any kind of online marketing changes so fast. What works today may not work tomorrow.

  2. MoveyStar Man and Van Gloucestershire

    Great article. I have wondered whether social enterprise and entrepreneurship would have taken a dive in the recession but I have faith in this next generation in terms of the way they perceive business values and social responsibility.

    it’s not about the black and white-if everyone was in the grey we’d have many more socially responsible businesses!

  3. Lakshmi - Virtual assistant


    I feel that what has been given in this blog is correct. There is a rise in social entrepreneurship and this i feel is a good sign for business developments and wish the readers to have a fruitful year.