Social entrepreneurship-Introduction,Characteristics,Types,Examples

Social entrepreneurship


Social entrepreneurship is the attempt to draw upon business techniques to find solutions to social problems. This concept may be applied to a variety of organizations with different sizes, aims, and beliefs.

The social entrepreneur is a mission-driven individual who uses a set of entrepreneurial behaviours to deliver a social value to the less privileged, all through an entrepreneurially oriented entity that is financially independent, self-sufficient, or sustainable.

Social entrepreneurship is the attempt to draw upon business techniques to find solutions to social problems. This concept may be applied to a variety of organizations with different sizes, aims, and beliefs. Conventional entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, but social entrepreneurs also take into account a positive return to society. Social entrepreneurship typically attempts to further broad social, cultural, and environmental goals often associated with the voluntary sector. At times, profit also may be a consideration for certain companies or other social enterprises.

Social entrepreneurship is 

  • About applying practical, innovative and sustainable approaches to benefit society in general, with an emphasis on those who are marginalized and poor.
  • A term that captures a unique approach to economic and social problems, an approach that cuts across sectors and disciplines grounded in certain values and processes that are common to each social entrepreneur, independent of whether his/ her area of focus has been education, health, welfare reform, human rights, workers’ rights, environment, economic development, agriculture, etc., or whether the organizations they set up are non-profit or for-profit entities.
  • It is this approach that sets the social entrepreneur apart from the rest of the crowd of well-meaning people and organizations who dedicate their lives to social improvement.

Characteristics of Social Entrepreneur

  • The usual ideologies and principals do not holdback social Entrepreneurs. They are always looking at breaking them.
  • Social Entrepreneurs are impatient. They do not go well with the bureaucracy around them.
  • Social Entrepreneurs have the patience, energy and enthusiasm to teach others.
  • Social Entrepreneurs combine Innovation, Resources and Opportunity to derive solutions to Social problems.
  • This should be first in the list, Social Entrepreneurs DO NOT loose their FOCUS anytime.
  • Social Entrepreneurs always jump in before having their resources in place. They are not traditional.
  • Social Entrepreneurs ALWAYS believe that every one can Perform and have the capacity to do so.
  • Social Entrepreneurs ALWAYS display DETERMINATION
  • Social Entrepreneurs can ALWAYS measure and monitor their results.


Types of social entrepreneurship

1. The Leveraged Non-Profit:

This business model leverages resources in order to respond to social needs. Leveraged non-profits make innovative use of available funds, in order to impact a need. These leveraged non-profits are more traditional ways of dealing with issues, though are distinguished by their innovative approaches.

The entrepreneur sets up a non-profit organization to drive the adoption of an innovation that addresses a market or government failure. In doing so, the entrepreneur engages a cross section of society, including private and public organizations, to drive forward the innovation through a multiplier effect. Leveraged non-profit ventures continuously depend on outside philanthropic funding, but their longer-term sustainability is often enhanced given that the partners have a vested interest in the continuation of the venture.

2. The Hybrid Non-Profit:

This organizational structure can take on a variety of forms, but is distinctive because the hybrid non-profit is willing to use profit to sustain its operations. Hybrid non-profits are often created to deal with government or market failures, as they generate revenue to sustain the operation outside of loans, grants, and other forms of traditional funding.

The entrepreneur sets up a non-profit organization but the model includes some degree of cost-recovery through the sale of goods and services to a cross section of institutions, public and private, as well as to target population groups. Often, the entrepreneur sets up several legal entities to accommodate the earning of an income and the charitable expenditures in an optimal structure. To be able to sustain the transformation activities in full and address the needs of clients, who are often poor or marginalized from society, the entrepreneur must mobilize other sources of funding from the public and/or philanthropic sectors. Such funds can be in the form of grants or loans, and even quasi-equity.

3. The Social Business Venture:

These models are set up as businesses designed to create change through social means. Social business ventures evolved through a lack of funding—social entrepreneurs in this situation were forced to become for-profit ventures.

The entrepreneur sets up a for-profit entity or business to provide a social or ecological product or service. While profits are ideally generated, the main aim is not to maximize financial returns for shareholders but to grow the social venture and reach more people in need. Wealth accumulation is not a priority and profits are reinvested in the enterprise to fund expansion. The entrepreneur of a social business venture seeks investors who are interested in combining financial and social returns on their investments.

Social entrepreneurship-Introduction,Characteristics,Types,Examples

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