Social entrepreneurs are visionary individuals with creative solutions for solving some of the world’s most perplexing social problems. These people have the ability to identify the problem, develop a way to change the system, and disseminate the ideas so that entire societies work together to raise themselves above crisis. They are ambitious, driven, resourceful, and results-oriented.
Social entrepreneurship is the art of creating a socially responsible business that aims to generate profit, while solving social and environmental problems. Social entrepreneurs start and run social enterprises – commercial businesses that often come with a “triple bottom line” mandate. The triple bottom line refers to people, profits, and the planet. TBL implies that businesses can and ought to be run in a financially, socially, and environmentally responsible manner.
What is the difference between a social enterprise and a nonprofit?
Social enterprises are often confused with nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The main difference between a nonprofit and social enterprise is the revenue model. Nonprofits rely primarily on charitable contributions, public funding and foundation grants to support their programs and cover their administrative overhead. If, due to a bad economy, donations, grants, and public sector subsidies dried up, the non profit would have to shut down. Very few nonprofits have created robust earned income streams, though there is an increasing trend to do so.
A social enterprise is designed to operate like a for profit business. Social enterprises rely primarily on their earned income stream, and like any other company, if needed, it takes loans, invites capital investments, forms partnerships etc. in order to expand its business activities.A nonprofit’s sole aim is to create social value where as the aim of social enterprise is two or three fold: financial, social, and environmental sustainability.