In the ecosystem, there are various definitions of Social Entrepreneurship (SE). Some define it as the act of making the world a better place by enterprising people. Others say it is providing innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems.
Basically, social entrepreneurship involves pioneering innovations that benefit humanity while making the world a better place. The ecosystem is driven by people termed as social entrepreneurs. They transform communities facing social problems. These are driven and creative individuals who question the status quo so as to exploit new opportunities.
Types of Social Entrepreneurship
SE has a spectrum of social ventures.
1. Charities: these are non-profit organizations created for social benefit. They do not engage in trade or do not distribute profits. An example is Charity: water, an organization I support.
2. Social enterprises: these are for-profit organizations. They trade for social purpose with most of their profit reinvested for social benefits.
Whether charities or social enterprises, these organizations are sustainable businesses whose primary purpose is to make impacts while ensuring profit and asset distribution for the benefit of the society.
Social Entrepreneurship Organizations
Some of the existing social entrepreneurship organizations I can recommend to you are listed below. These are the ones you can follow to increase your knowledge and openness to the ecosystem.
1. Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Ashoka builds and cultivates a community of change leaders who see that the world now requires everyone to be a changemaker. The community collaborates to transform institutions and cultures worldwide so they support change-making for the good of society. [Visit Ashoka]
2. Skoll Foundation
The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. [Visit Skoll Foundation]
3. UnLtd: The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs
UnLtd wants to create a future where enterprising people are transforming our world for good. [Visit UnLtd]
4. Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN)
GSEN is the global network for organisations supporting early stage social entrepreneurs. [Visit GSEN]
If you plan to venture into social entrepreneurship, you will need finance, understanding of policies, access to markets, people, understanding of culture and supports.
In the ecosystem, social entrepreneurs get supported with seed funds, connections, vocational education, incubators for startups, accelerators programme for early growth, fellowships for later stages etc. These don’t come easy though but if you have a solution that impacts the world, and ready to work, you stand a good chance.