Social entrepreneurship helps to identify and solve a variety of social problems using similar techniques to business entrepreneurs who innovate to create new industries and transform existing ones. The social entrepreneur is a change agent in their society, using new opportunities that others may overlook to improve social systems, create and implement new approaches to solving social problems and find sustainable solutions that add value to a community.
Social Entrepreneurs vs Business Entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs differ from business entrepreneurs in the sense that their first priority is to create social value rather than profits. They also differ from traditional charities in the sense that their work is targeted towards systemic change rather than just immediate relief of suffering. Social entrepreneurs can recognize the root causes of a social problem and find creative solutions for change on a society wide basis.
Social entrepreneurship offers innovative solutions to the most critical social problems of our time through an ambitious and persistent approach. The social entrepreneur will formulate new ideas that can create large scale change, rather than relying on government, business or charity alone to address these issues. Due to the magnitude of the problems they are tackling, the social entrepreneur must be a highly dedicated and passionate individual. They often commit their lives to changing the world for the better, and many of them are visionaries who are committed to practical solutions.
Best Social Entrepreneurship Ideas
The best social entrepreneurship ideas are user friendly, ethical, easy to comprehend and likely to garner widespread support in local communities. In this respect, the social entrepreneur serves as a role model to others in the community that it’s possible to implement positive, sustainable change. Social entrepreneurship is the effective use of entrepreneurial principles to create, organize, and manage an operation geared towards achieving positive social change. Business entrepreneurs measure their success in terms of profit, while social entrepreneurs measure success in terms of social capital. In practice, this means that the main goal of social entrepreneurship is to reinvest profits into social and environmental advancement.
While many social entrepreneurs do work in the non profit or charity sector, some also operate profitable businesses. When social entrepreneurship is practiced on a global scale, it is known as international social entrepreneurship. This concept is relatively new, dating back to the 1960s in the academic literature. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the idea gained broader recognition through the work of pioneers like Bill Drayton.
Approaches to Social Entrepreneurship
Over the years, visionaries have taken a variety of approaches to social entrepreneurship. Some have founded large organizations that operate on a global scale to identify and cultivate successful social entrepreneurs in local communities. By helping to create new leaders in the field, they in turn use creativity and innovation to come up with new models that are appropriate to conditions in their local environment.
Some large scale problems have been successfully addressed in this way, as the local community embraces the solution created by a social entrepreneur and begins to adopt it on a large scale. This is the only way that an innovative idea will have a wide impact within a society, so organizations which provide funding for social entrepreneurship are always looking for ideas with the potential for widespread adoption at the local level.
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