What is Social Entrepreneurship?

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Not everything in business is led by monetary profit; there are also those who wish to bring improvements to their communities, or to society in general while at the same time leading a successful business. Thus, social entrepreneurship is a venture that aims to bring about social change; the change has to be a positive one of course, it has to help the people in their endeavors, it has to help the community evolve.

While business entrepreneurs are mainly interested in things like profit and return, social entrepreneurship also has in mind a positive effect on society. This type of entrepreneurship is mostly found under the form of non-for-profit organizations, or it is supported by them; through actions like these, the cultural, social and even environmental goals of the community are reached or furthered, depending on what the social endeavor is. However, certain companies may also be interested in profit, so they must find a balance between keeping their numbers and also doing a favor to society.

The term social entrepreneurship started being used more commonly in the 1960s and 1970s, mainly in America and Europe. Various pioneers such as  Bill Drayton, Michael Young or Daniel Bell set up the first social enterprises of this kind, or launched schools that prepared new social entrepreneurs. The concept however isn’t new, even though people probably didn’t have a name for what was being done. Some popular examples of social entrepreneurs are Florence Nightingale  – who set up the first nursing school and developed numerous modern nursing practices; Robert Owen – who founded the cooperative movement, and others. The nineteenth and twentieth century saw many radical (at the time) ideas being brought to fruition in the social,  health or welfare systems; while some caused uproar and revolution-like movements at the time, they were eventually adhered to by everyone, bringing much-needed help and advantages to the common people.

One of the most popular contemporary representatives of social entrepreneurship is Muhammad Yunus, who founded the Grameen Bank. Though this bank, Yunus supported many social venture businesses, thus helping improve communities and aiding people into achieving their dreams. Many say that combining social ventures with business principles can lead to a new, better way of improving the world both economically and socially. A better business makes for happier people and happier people are more likely to work better and make a better business. Those who are interested in becoming social entrepreneurs should know that they can get help, advice and even funds from certain non-profit organizations, foundations, governments, and so on. Some universities and colleges from around the world have already established classes and profiles that train and help social entrepreneurs.

For example, certain organizations aim to help women entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs or emancipated children who want to make something of themselves in order be financially secure. For more information each person should find our what their own government offers in that direction, and whether there are classes they can take and grants they can have access to.


October 2022