What is a Social Entrepreneur? Social entrepreneurship is a way in which individuals, groups, or start-up businesses, take up an entrepreneurial challenge, by creating, funding and implementing projects that address social, cultural, environmental or community concerns. This concept can be applied to a whole range of enterprises, ranging from nonprofit organizations to multi-million dollar corporations, that differ in size, purposes, and beliefs.
In the past decade, many social enterprises have grown out of social activities and groups. There are also many social enterprises that aim to help the society, with some of them even coming out as charity or governmental organizations. But, it should be kept in mind, that the ultimate aim of most social enterprises is to make money. While some of these enterprises work towards social objectives, most of them have commercial goals.
Social entrepreneurs come out with a wide variety of ideas, but they tend to share one thing in common. They are all interested in building a social impact in the society. For this, they use different strategies and choose the one that suits the interest of the organization or of the society in general. Some of the strategies adopted by such enterprises include: subsidizing local goods and services, educating the population, helping people get out of poverty, developing alternative energy sources for domestic as well as for industrial use, promoting a clean environment, and disseminating information and knowledge to the public on issues dear to the hearts of the majority of the people. These enterprises may not adopt a similar strategy for developing their communities.
However, the most popular among the other strategies adopted by the social entrepreneurs are those that promote social change and build a better community. One important aspect that distinguishes a social enterprise from a conventional enterprise is its sole focus on social change and social entrepreneurship. The main aim of a social entrepreneur is to build a better community, promote social change and participate actively in making changes in the society. In fact, this concept is not new.
A community development entrepreneur is someone who is more interested in social entrepreneurship. The community development field is a very large one, with lots of opportunities for participation. This field is also very specialized, as it requires expertise on diverse aspects of community development, from funding options to project management. Community development entrepreneurs are more likely to be involved in a range of activities related to community development.
The field of social entrepreneurship can further be subdivided into five key sectors: business innovation and design, knowledge creation and development, social entrepreneurship, social manufacturing and social sourcing. Most of the organizations involved in the different sectors of the field are funded by the government, while many others are funded by corporations, foundations and private parties. Most of the organizations involved in these sectors are nonprofit, although some are profit-making organizations. Private support for community development organizations is particularly critical, as profit-making organizations have an interest in promoting social economic policies.