We know what is entrepreneurship and who is an entrepreneur, however, there is a new (or sub-cluster) set of people who are not just entrepreneurs, they are social entrepreneurs, a thin line divides entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, lets look at the challenges faced by the social entrepreneurs and the changes they are bringing in.
What is Social Entrepreneurship, Who is a Social Entrepreneur?
Social entrepreneurship is developing, funding and implementing a solution to social and environmental issues while generating profits for the sustainability of the entrepreneurship business. Referred to as altruistic entrepreneurship, at its most basic level, it is doing business for a social cause.
“Having social impact built into your business model allows you to live your life on purpose” – Honeycomb cofounder Melissa Levick
A social entrepreneur is someone combine a sustainable business model to a social cause, thus his satisfaction comes through the positive changes in the lives of people connected to the cause, their focus is not only the profits, but they also focus on the impact they bringing in to the community, country or world.
Characteristics of social entrepreneurship
- Combination of innovative idea and solution to a social problem
- Focuses on social, cultural and environmental changes in line with the business model
- Improves the lives of the people connected to the cause
The Challenges faced by social entrepreneurs
Access to capital
Social entrepreneurs are mostly turned down by investors as the social entrepreneurs lack the commercial attraction or high profitability expected by the investors, social entrepreneurship is a relatively new concept and prone to many challenges, these risky elements of social entrepreneurship makes the investors think twice.
Sustainability is another major challenge for social entrepreneurs, the importance of combining an innovative business model to a social cause can help the social entrepreneur to overcome the challenge. The sustainable business model which can earn profits while addressing the social cause is a sure winner.
Social entrepreneurship is prone to exploitation, the classic example is the microfinance business practices, in 2006, Muhammad Yunus, founder of GRAMEEN BANK, received Nobel Prize for micro-loans to those in need to help them develop financial self-sufficiency. The same business model exploited by the greedy money lenders which are causing suicides and cultural exploitation in various rural areas in Srilanka.
Changes due to social entrepreneurship
- Social entrepreneurship encourages others to find the lives purpose.
- This what today’s consumers want
- Social entrepreneurship brings lots of positive feedback to the brands, thus investors and corporates are positive towards social entrepreneurship.
We hope to write more about social entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurs, do you know a social entrepreneur? please let us know so we can help them to take their social entrepreneurship idea forward.