What is Social Entrepreneurship?

I’m often asked why I advocate for social entrepreneurship and why it is so important to me. I find social entrepreneurship important on many levels because it has the potential to be the stepping-stone, which convinces people to eventually start embracing the concept of a resource, based economy, over the current monetary system.

I see those who chose to become social entrepreneurs as conscious minded people who care about humanity and who are willing to break away from all aspects of crony capitalism, individualism, and exploitation. If I meet someone who introduces himself or herself as a social entrepreneur, I know that they are trying to use their work to improve lives, not just to gain capital. Let’s go one step further, what is the difference between a social entrepreneur and an entrepreneur? Webster’s online dictionary defines entrepreneur as: a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.

The discussion of the social entrepreneur is pretty new to academia circles; so many different definitions are currently floating around. My definition of social entrepreneurship is when an individual, or individuals, decide to make a social change in society using the method of business creation and business applications. This business not only has to tailor itself around solving a specific problem in society, it also has to spend most of its resources towards this problem. To be more effective, individuals employed at this business should all share a common goal, in dealing with this societal problem.

Teaching young people about social entrepreneurship is important because they need to know that there are other alternatives in life outside of just working to gain a lot of material wealth, or just working for a job title. We want children to value the importance of having a hard work ethics, but we also want them to see work as a way to improve the world, and to improve their communities. We are not telling all of them that they have to start their own businesses, but we want them to look for jobs that make a difference in the world around them. We want them to see the world of philanthropy as a viable career alternative. When we properly education children about the options and paths available and obtainable for their success, they are more likely to choose the best life decision.