3 Examples of Social Entrepreneurship

For those of you who have just recently come across the idea of social entrepreneurship, and have created new business ideas, you may be wondering what are some examples of social entrepreneurship. There are a range of various social entrepreneurs, from those that startup nonprofits that use business methods to for-profits that have a social mission. Here are just 3 different examples of social entrepreneurship across countries & sectors.

1. Examples of Social Entrepreneurship in India

Vision Of Eyechart With Glasses [Photo by kenteegardin] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Examples of social entrepreneurship in India include the Aravind Eye Hospital & Aurolab. This organization, founded by social entrepreneurs Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy (Dr. V) and David Green is located in Madurai, India. It’s mission is to make medical technology and health care services accessible, affordable and financially self-sustaining.

Founded in 1976 by Dr. V, Aravind Eye Care System is today the largest and most productive eye care facility in the world. From April 2007 to March 2008, about 2.4 million people in India have received outpatient eye care and surgeries through this organization.

Another well known example of Indian social enterprise is SKS India. This for-profit company empowers the poor to become self-reliant through affordable loans. SKS believes that access to basic financial services can significantly increase economic opportunities for poor families and help them to improve their lives.

2. Fair Trade Organizations as Examples of Social Entrepreneurship

Fair trade organizations are some of the best examples of social entrepreneurship. Among the recent trends towards ethical and sustainable consumption, the development of fair trade is one of the fastest and most promising initiatives.

Fair trade pioneers have primarily come from Third Sector organizations, from both nonprofits and coops. Most recently, though, the fair trade landscape has become far more diverse and includes many for-profit and hybrid firms that are active in the import and distribution of fairly traded goods.

Fair trade is thus evolving into a mixed-form market, where old and new organizational forms are coexisting and combining economic, social and political goals in fascinating new ways. The nature of fair trade has led to the labeling of fair trade organizations as social enterprises, but there is a real question as to how accurate this label is. The answer depends on how a given FTO combines economic, social and political goals, and which types of stakeholders are involved in the decision-making processes.

3. Famous Examples of Social Entrepreneurship

Teaching eye care [Photo by 4Cheungs] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Some famous social entrepreneurship examples include The Big Issue, the Eden Project and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen. Other award-winners include Divine Chocolate , a fair trade chocolate company co-owned by the Kuapa Kokoo farmer coop in Ghana, and Women Like Us, which connects women with flexible employment.

This goes to show that social enterprise cover a huge range of industries. For example, Cafedirect is the UK’s largest fair trade hot drinks company, while the Elvis & Kresse Organization (EaKo) takes industrial waste materials and turns them into stylish luggage and hand bags.

They then donate 50% of the profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. Hill Holt wood educates at-risk youth in an ancient woodland, while Central Surrey Health is a pioneering social enterprise in the health care arena which is run by the nursing and therapy teams it employs. From this, you can tell that there are many ways of getting inspired with new business ideas.