Over the past few years, entrepreneurship has evolved. A new form of entrepreneur has emerged that focuses on social impact first, and profit second. The individuals practicing this kind of entrepreneurship are shaping the world we live in and improving the lives of those around them. These are the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos.
They are social entrepreneurs who have made a significant impact on the world. However, social entrepreneurship is for everyone. It’s not just for those with a large platform or a lot of money. Social entrepreneurship is about using your skills and resources to make a difference in the world. In this guide, we explore what social entrepreneurship is, why it matters, and how you can get involved.
Defining Social Entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurship is a unique type of entrepreneurship that focuses on social impact first and profit second. It is all about solving social problems and making the world a better place. The concept of social entrepreneurship differs from the traditional model of entrepreneurship in a few key ways. For instance, social entrepreneurs have a social mission at the core of their business. This could be an environmental mission, a social mission, or a mission to serve a particular group of people.
Additionally, social entrepreneurs are driven by social impact, rather than profit. While they may generate revenue, their ultimate goal is to make a social or environmental impact. What separates social entrepreneurs from traditional entrepreneurs is their focus on solving social challenges. They view business as a force for good and use their skills to make the world a better place.
Types of Social Entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurship does not limit you to a particular industry. In fact, it allows you to venture into different types of businesses and industries. The main types of social entrepreneurs include:
Community Social Entrepreneur
A community social entrepreneur is someone who uses their business to improve the lives of those in their community. Usually, this type of entrepreneur will start their organization in a needy community or an area that requires some type of social development. For instance, they may open a grocery store in a food desert or set up a program to mentor young people in their community.
By using their business to solve social problems, community social entrepreneurs make a positive impact on the lives of those around them. Community social entrepreneurs set up their enterprises in a particular community. Their final objective is to bring social change within that community.
Transformational social entrepreneurship entails working on a larger scale to bring about social change. This type of social entrepreneurship focuses on social innovation and thinking outside the box to create new solutions to social problems. Unlike community social entrepreneurs who work within a particular community, transformational social entrepreneurs often have a national or global reach.
They use their business to effect social change on a larger scale. For example, a transformational social entrepreneur may work to create new policies to combat climate change or develop a social media platform to connect social activists around the world.
Non-Profit Social Entrepreneurship
Non-profit social entrepreneurship is very similar to community social entrepreneurship. The main difference is that non-profit social entrepreneurs set up their businesses as non-profit organizations. Like community social entrepreneurs, non-profit social entrepreneurs use their businesses to improve the lives of those in their community.
They establish their businesses in a low-income society or an area that needs social development. A good example of a non-profit social entrepreneur is someone who sets up a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen. These businesses provide vital services to those in need and enhance the lives of those around them.
Global Social Entrepreneurship
You can practice global social entrepreneurship at any scale. Global social entrepreneurs use their businesses to make a social or environmental impact on a global scale. They may start a social enterprise that sells fair trade coffee or set up a program to help women in developing countries access clean water.
These individuals impact the world by using various business skills. Global social entrepreneurship does not limit social entrepreneurs to a particular geography. They can have a social or environmental impact on a global scale.
Social Entrepreneurship Examples
There are many types of social entrepreneurship around the world. Below, we look at some of the most popular social entrepreneurship around the world.
TOMS Shoes: This social enterprise was founded in 2006 with a mission to help those in need. For every pair of shoes bought, TOMS gives an extra pair to a needy person. So far, they have donated over 95 million pairs of shoes to children in need around the world.
Warby Parker: Warby Parker is a social enterprise that provides affordable eyeglasses to those in need. For every pair of glasses sold, this organization gives an extra pair of eyewear to someone who needs it but cannot afford it. To date, they have donated over 10 million frames.
Kiva: Kiva is a social enterprise that provides microloans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. It allows people to donate money to entrepreneurs in need, which they can then use to start or grow their businesses. So far, Kiva has loaned over $1 billion to entrepreneurs in need.
Gift of Life: Gift of Life is a social enterprise that provides free heart surgery to children in need. It has performed over 11,000 heart surgeries and saved the lives of countless children.
Start Your Social Entrepreneurship Journey
Social entrepreneurship is an exciting and ever-changing field with opportunities for everyone. Most importantly, being a social entrepreneur is not limited to one field or business type. You can be a for-profit or non-profit organization. The secret to starting your journey is doing something that you are passionate about.
And the best way to determine if starting a social entrepreneurship business is right for you is by seeking guidance from professionals. Our team will help you assess your options and skillsets to figure out the best path forward. Contact us today, and we will be happy to engage with you in fruitful discussions and brainstorm various social entrepreneurship ideas that could enable you to achieve your dreams.