Social Entrepreneurship

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entreprenuership is both a concept and practice as implemented by social entrepreneurs.

Social entrepreneurs are those who use entrepreneurial and business skills to create social impact, usually via a social venture. Social entrepreneurs are typically leaders and visionaries in their own right, as they start up and lead these social ventures, which can include major projects, positive impact businesses, non profit organizations or innovative entities that are a hybrid of both a nonprofit and a business such as a social enterprise.

As such, social entrepreneurs are usually the founders, CEOs or managing directors of these businesses, nonprofits or social enterprises. It must be noted that while social entrepreneurs seek to achieve social and environmental goals, this does not preclude social entrepreneurs from also making a profitable and sustainable business. Social entrepreneurs are often in the voluntary and nonprofit sectors, but increasingly, social entrepreneurs are emerging in the for-profit sector too.

In fact, while this blog will talk about nonprofit entreprenuerial strategies and ideas, more emphasis will be placed on social entrepreneurship in the business sphere. While traditional businesses focused on solely an aim of profit, social entrepreneurship in business often has a double bottom line, or even a triple bottom line. This means that apart from profit as a focus, the achievement of social and/or environmental goals will also be a focus.

Top Examples of Social Entrepreneurship Today

While there are countless examples of social entrepreneuruship in history, the concept has only taken off in recent years as more entrepreneurs are becoming frustrated of the limits of capitalism but still seeing the benefits of the initiative, efficiency and personal responsibility that comes with capitalism. Thus, social entrepreneurship has become increasingly popular in the 2000s as entrepreneurs seek a more balanced approach of capitalism with a conscience or compassionate capitalism.

Here are some of the most popular examples of social entrepreneurship today:

Grameen Bank: Founded by Social Entrepreneur, Muhummad Yunus

  • Microfinance business model
  • Headquartered in Bangladesh
  • Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Kiva Microfunds: Founded by Social Entrepreneurs, Matt Flannery & Jessica Jackley

  • Online peer-to-peer business model
  • Headquartered in United States

Fifteen Restaurant: Founded by Social Entrepreneur & Celebrity Chef, Jamie Oliver

  • Restaurant business model, training underprivileged youth
  • Headquartered in United Kingdom

TOMs Shoes & Eyewear: Founded by Social Entrepreneur, Blake Mycoskie

  • Buy One, Give One business model
  • Headquartered in the United States

VisionSpring Social Enterprise: Founded by Social Entrepreneur, Dr. Jordan Kassalow

  • Microfranchise business model
  • Headquartered in the United States

Resources for Social Entrepreneurship

For those of you who are keen to start on your own social entrepreneurship journey, there are a range of resources and organizations that can help you.

One of the top resources for social entrepreneurship is this very own website at where you can get daily free advice, news and case studies of positive impact businesses and social enterprises, as well as info about up and coming social entrepreneurs.

There are also a range of organizations that can help youthrough advice and even funding. Some of the top social entrepreneurship supporting organizations include:

  • Skoll Foundation
  • Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
  • Echoing Green
  • Ashoka
  • Root Cause