November 2, 2009

Essential tools to start a social enterprise.


A compilation of the best resources to help you get your social enterprise planed, designed, launched and creating a sustainable impact.

Over the past few months a conversation has been evoling in the social entrepreneurship scene around the topic of super heros and how we can open up the social enterprise sector to the broader public, especially the inclusion of those at the bottom of the economic pyramid to become social entrepreneurs themselves.

This guide is meant to help the average joe, the rookie non-MBA social entrepreneur, The working poor, the high school student, the weekend entrepreneur… To put their ideas into action.


Tool kits and Guides.


Startup & Change the World: Guide for Young Social Entrepreneurs

Youth Social Enterprise Initiative (YSEI) has developed a guidebook dedicated to young innovators who are equipped with great ideas and are intent on unleashing them to change the world.

It’s full of information, tips and profiles to help you choose your path, develop a plan and create impact. http://www.ysei.org/node/71

Human Centered Design Toolkit

For years, companies and other organizations have used Human-Centered Design to arrive at innovative business solutions. Working with the Gates Foundation and nonprofit groups IDE, IRCW, and Heifer International, IDEO relied on this approach to improve the lives of communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The resulting HCD Toolkit helps NGO staff and volunteers understand people’s needs in new ways, find innovative solutions to meet these needs, and deliver solutions with financial sustainability in mind. The free kit is divided into four sections that bolster listening skills, running workshops, and implementing ideas.

The HCD Toolkit contains the elements to Human-Centered Design, a process used for decades to create new solutions for multi-national corporations. This process has created ideas such as the HeartStart defibrillator, Cleanwell natural antibacterial products, and the Blood Donor System for the Red Cross—innovations that have enhanced the lives of millions of people.

http://www.ideo.com/work/item/human-centered-design-toolkit/

UnLtd Built to Last Toolkit [Download PDF 2.48 MB]

This is a very useful guide to project planning and sustainability developed by UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs in the UK. There are some UK specific sections in the toolkit but the majority of the toolkit is relevant to any social entrepreneur, whether UK-based or not.

How to systematically build business models beyond profit

The presentation presents a clear framework of the nine building blocks for building a social enterprise:

1. Customer Segments

2. Value Proposition

3. Distribution Channels

4. Customer Relationships

5. Revenue Streams

6. Key Resources

7. Key Activities

8. Key Partners

9.  Cost Structure

also see by the same author: http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com

The Constellation Model of Collaborative Social Change

"This is a very powerful, and proven model for creating very effective solutions to complex problems to large for a single organization to handle.

The constellation model is borne out of seven years of cross-organizational collaboration on children’s health issues in Canada. The network of related organizations overcame many hurdles and refined the model in a pracitical, working environment.

As the social innovation and social enterprise communities expand and address adjacent and overlapping goals, adoption of concepts like this one are going to be key to achieving more change faster.  We strongly recommend that anyone in the field review this paper not just once, but keep it handy for reference and guidance.”

http://socialinnovation.ca/blog/constellation-model-of-collaborative-social-change

Social enterprise structures guide launched

A range of areas of public services from primary healthcare to education, childcare, social care and offender management offer good opportunities for social entrepreneurs.

One of the most important early decisions for such businesses or sponsoring authorities must make is which legal structure to use for the business.

To help businesses through this minefield, specialist law firm, TPP Law, has now published the second edition of its Practical Guide to Structures for Social Enterprises.

http://www.socialenterpriselive.com/your-news/social-enterprise-structures-guide-launched

Information to help you run your project, whatever stage it is at.

Here, you can download sample project plans, Tips and How to guides.(Scroll to the bottom to “General information”)
http://unltd.org.uk/template.php?ID=29&PageName=downloads


Growing list of terms used in the social business and enterprise sector. 
http://www.clearlyso.com/glossary.jsf


Bootstrap University: Bootstrap BootCamp video series

A production of BootstrapAustin.com. We teach the principles, stages and actions of bootstrap, the third way of entrepreneurship: www.bootstrapaustin.org/thirdway
http://www.youtube.com/user/bootstrapu


Tools

The Social Edge Resources Wiki can be used in two ways. Very much like a typical encyclopedia, you can simply search an entry, read it and learn about what is important in social entrepreneurship. But you may also edit the entry you have read, and even add a new one if you wish. This Resources Wiki is maintained by the Social Edge community -you. Please note that you need to be a Social Edge registered member to edit the Resources Wiki.
http://www.socialedge.org/features/resources

Root Cause’s How-to Guide, “Building a Performance Measurement System”

Performance measurement provides crucial information to help organizations dedicated to social impact assess their efficiency, sustainability, and progress toward achieving their missions. With such information in hand, organizations can make more strategic decisions and identify opportunities for improvement. By committing to continuous improvement and generating hard data, organizations can also attract new and returning social impact investors – from individual donors to foundations, government agencies, and corporation

http://rootcause.org/performance-measurements.

Your Message in a Video [How to make a great marketing video when short on money and time]

http://unreasonableinstitute.org/blog/how-to-make-an-unreasonably-awesome-video/

Top Tips for Using Facebook for Business (Video)

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/top-tips-for-using-facebook-for-business-video/


5 ways your business can use Twitter lists

As a business on Twitter, you’re probably already using it to talk with customers, share deals and news, and stay up-to-date with your industry. The Twitter List is another feature that can be incredibly useful for you and your customers. You can use public lists to curate collections of helpful resources that both engage and support your customers. Here are five types of Twitter Lists a business should make.
http://cheaptweet.com/blog/2009/10/30/5-ways-your-business-can-use-twitter-lists/

How To: Be Active On Twitter Without Getting Burned Out!
http://www.bitrebels.com/geek/how-to-be-active-on-twitter-without-getting-burned-out/


10 Twitter Tools for Nonprofits, Social Entrepreneurs and Activists

http://www.socialearth.org/10-twitter-tools-for-nonprofits-social-entrepreneurs-and-activists


10 of the Best Social Media Tools for Entrepreneurs
Whether your company is just starting out, just starting to turn a profit or already on the verge of an acquisition, as an entrepreneur you’ll be constantly evaluating the tools that will help get your business to the next stage.
http://mashable.com/2009/10/26/socia-media-entrepreneurs/

Online Marketing Cheat Sheet for Social Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits.

http://www.socialedge.org/features/issue-areas/online_marketing

Track what people are saying about your social enterprise in social media: How to Create Listening Dashboard

http://nten.org/blog/2009/11/02/how-create-listening-dashboard-your-organization

MicroMentor Resource Center

https://www.micromentor.org/resources/resource-center

Cost effective evaluation tools

http://www.good.is/series/innovation-in-evaluation

Sprout e-course

designed for aspiring social innovators and environmental entrepreneurs who want to grow their project ideas and learn to create lasting changes that take root in their communities. Learn more today: www.sproutecourse.org.

Online Collaboration Resources for Social Entrepreneurs

http://www.ned.com/group/i4c/ws/collaboration_resources/

101 Useful Resources for Online EntrepreneursEvery day more and more entrepreneurs are building successful businesses using the internet. There is an abundance of opportunity online and depending on the venture, there is often less cost and risk involved when compared with traditional businesses. There is also a wealth of resources available to help the online entrepreneur to run a business more effectively and more profitably, and we list many of those resources here. Feel free to leave a comment with your feedback and your recommendations of other resources.

http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/2008/03/10/resources-for-online-entrepreneurs/



Crowd Funding

A Guide to Crowdfunding Success
http://mashable.com/2009/07/29/crowdfunding-success/

http://www.betterplace.org
http://www.outvesting.org
http://thetippingbucket.org
http://www.kickstarter.com
http://www.ideablob.com


Books

"The Art of the Start." Guy Kawasaki encourages entrepreneurs to make meaning, make mantra, and get going. According to Kawasaki, some examples of making ‘meaning’ are: make the world a better place, increase the quality of life, right a terrible wrong, and prevent the end of something good. Plus, his brilliant FAQ’s (frequently avoided questions) will answer almost all your fears about starting a new business. http://www.changethis.com:81/1.ArtOfTheStarthttp://www.slideshare.net/huer1278ft/the-art-of-the-start-37633


The Bootstrapper’s Bible: How to Start and Build a Business with a Great Idea and (Almost) No Money, Godin shows precisely how his own venture, and a slew of others like Dell Computer, Burton Snowboards, Bose Corporation, Starbucks, and many lesser-known companies, ultimately managed to turn that nothing into something quite substantial. This is a must-read for any entrepreneur. 
http://www.changethis.com/8.BootstrappersBible


Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

Losing My Virginity is the unusual, frequently outrageous autobiography of one of the great business geniuses of our time. When Richard Branson started his first business, he and his friends decided that “since we’re complete virgins at business, let’s call it just that: Virgin.” Since then, Branson has written his own “rules” for success, creating a group of companies with a global presence, but no central headquarters, no management hierarchy, and minimal bureaucracy.

http://www.amazon.com/Losing-My-Virginity-Survived-Business/dp/0812932293

Social Edge’s Top Book Picks for Social Entrepreneurs
We have been asked at Social Edge for recommended reading for the aspiring and practicing social entrepreneurs.  So besides our extremely useful blogs on Social Edge, Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg’s article on Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition, and Bill Drayton’s Everyone a Changemaker article, here, in no particular order, are our top 10 books on social entrepreneurship followed by our top 10 related books that can help social entrepreneurs succeed.

http://www.socialedge.org/blogs/the-edge/social-edges-recommended-reading-for-social-entrepreneurs


Articles

Starting up as a social entrepreneur (at Skoll Emerge) from The School for Social Entrepreneurs

http://socialentrepreneurs.typepad.com/the_school_for_social_ent/2009/11/starting-up-as-a-social-entrepreneur-skoll-emerge-talk.html

The Bootstrappers Guide to Launching New Projects by Inc Magazine
http://www.inc.com/magazine/20091001/the-bootstrappers-guide-to-launching-new-products.html?partner=newsletter_Success


No money? Use social capital to get things done.
http://www.bootstrapaustin.org/2009/06/three-types-of-capital.html

Ramen Profitable

http://paulgraham.com/ramenprofitable.html

Conversation Agent’s: More Thoughts on Your New Media Equity

http://fredzimny.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/reading-conversation-agents-more-thoughts-on-your-new-media-equity/


Ten Common Entrepreneurship Myths
If you’re thinking of starting your own business, you’ve probably heard a lot of stories - some good, some bad. But how much stock can you put into these tales? We’ll take a look at some of the myths associated with becoming an entrepreneur.

http://www.brighthub.com/office/entrepreneurs/articles/49838.aspx

What Startups Are Really Like

http://www.paulgraham.com/really.html

Startups in 13 Sentences

http://paulgraham.com/13sentences.html

Most Common Early Start-up Mistakes

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/08/17/most-common-early-start-up-mistakes/

The 18 Mistakes that Kill Startups

http://paulgraham.com/startupmistakes.html

Learning How To Fail

http://socialentrepreneurship.change.org/blog/view/learning_how_to_fail

The Best Entrepreneurs Know How To Fail Fast

http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2009/04/the-best-entrepreneurs-know-how-to-fail-fast.html

Fail Fast, Fail Cheap
Get your idea into the marketplace, and learn from customers

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_26/b4040436.htm

The Importance of Failure: Seeing failure as success
http://unreasonableinstitute.org/blog/failure-as-success/

The Awesomeness Manifesto

Ethical production, Insanely great stuff, Love, Thick value.

http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/haque/2009/09/is_your_business_innovative_or.html

October 13, 2009

3 crystal clear cases why social entrepreneurship is an economic development tool

pro poor econ dev

Stop talking about social entrepreneurship as a charity and start seeing it as a powerful tool of economic development. I’m soundly convinced that the true latent power of social entrepreneurship is as an economic development tool with the ability to turn a homeless/poor person from a tax burden charity/aid recipient to a consumer, tax payer and creator of value with the same kind of dignity and self respect the rest of us enjoy in our jobs and daily lives.

Pigeon holing it in the non profit arena is just reinforcing the status quo and gives credence to old, unjust and infective models. For profit social entrepreneurship should be encouraged, celebrated and supported just as much as, if not more so, than it’s counter part in the non profit sector. It should be seen for what it truly is; social entrepreneurship  addresses market failures by seizing opportunities and creating tangible goods and services that address real market needs and thus create value, jobs, increases the wealth of all stakeholders, strengthens the economy and lowers burden on taxpayer/aid funded public services. It’s about creating value, not warm fuzzies.

Over the past few years I’ve come to see and understand the traditional charity/aide/welfare system we have as some manufactured form of colonialism with a clearly defined aristocracy and complex social structure made up of funders, policy wonks, bureaucrats, service providers, volunteers and the poor all expected to play their assigned roles.

Too often well intentioned and highly educated individuals with higher income set out to change or to save the world by coming up with the latest innovations to revolutionize industry or more charitable ways provide relief to the poor without including them in the solution creating process. What is needed and has been missing for so long is what social entrepreneurship brings to the table: opportunity, prosperity, abundance mentality, dignity, wealth creation… Economic development.

When the poor are elevated to the status of partners and co-creators an entire new realm of possibilities, perspectives, skill sets opens up. It’s time we kick our charity feel good mentality and look at those we seek to help through the lenses of commerce, partnership and opportunity.

The concept of capitalism as a ‘pot luck dinner’ has been developing inside of me for some time now. Traditionally it is an invite only pot luck that is not well advertised and even if you happen to stumble upon it you must know some one already inside the feast to give you an invitation. Social entrepreneurship makes this pot luck an open invitation and makes sure that the poor are welcomed as equal beneficiaries and contributors. The broader and more diverse the pot luck guest and the dishes they bring the better off we will all be and the greater the chance that game-changing innovations will come out through ‘combing the recipes’ of all the various economic and cultural classes.

The poor hold half, if not more of the answers to a great many of the world problems.  If we combine our half of the answers, resources and networks with their half I am certain that the degree and depth of innovative solutions will vastly surpass any achievement that either Industry or Humanitarian efforts have been able to do for their sectors and humanity even when combined. This new economy will truly create a stronger and healthier society not by the redistribution of wealth in ‘IV drop dosages,’ but rather by expansion of opportunity and collaboration in a wide open flood gates approach.

Below are the 3 case studies of profitable social enterprises engaged in economy building and wealth creation for all stake holders:




Marie So of Shokay in 30 months she and her partner Carol Chyau have set up an amazing social enterprise making a huge difference in rural China AND, in the process, garnering sales of US$6 Million of, believe it or not, Yak’s hair and yak’s milk.

The milk is made into high-end cheese (called Mei Xiang Cheese Farm - a community of ethnic Tibetan yak herders who live in an isolated fir-lined valley not far from the border with the Tibetan Autonomous Region) and sold to hotel chains like Ritz-Carlton.

The Yaks hair is knitted in rural China into wonderful garments and it’s now being used by leading-edge designers like Paul Smith.

Even better than simply plowing the profits back into rural china, Marie and Carol now ‘workshop’ with people almost every week to find new Social Enterprise ventures they can support through their ‘Ventures in Development’ company.

One of the most interesting moments in the day came during the Q & A that all conferences in Singapore seem to feature. Marie was asked, “What’s the most important thing in selling the products, is it the Social Enterprise or something else?”

Marie was SO clear – “It’s quality and design only and the social impact comes in ONLY as part of the story behind the brand if the person we’re selling to is interested.”

When you visit Marie’s site you’ll see how she emphasises that theme with lovely taglines like ‘Luxury with a story’ and many more.

The quality and design message is so ‘on the money’ and something that we’ve been saying in blogs for some time now. Often we see Social Entrepreneurs ‘limiting’ themselves to flea-markets and the like and selling stuff that we feel compelled to buy because it’s made by ‘disadvantaged’ people. You and I buy it but then wonder what to do with the crocheted rabbit when we get it home.

Writing in the magazine Social Space, Professor B. Joon Park says it well: “A social enterprise is a business – it is not a fund-raising machine for charity. It must be sustainable.”

Marie So is one of a growing breed (Muhammad Yunus refers to the breed as ‘Social Business Entrepreneurs’) that are wonderful businesses giving back in wonderful ways.

Millions of girls and women in developing countries miss up to 50 days of school/work per year because they do not have access to affordable sanitary pads when they menstruate. Currently, girls and women in this setting—if they have an option at all—turn to premium priced international brands which are too costly to sustain (e.g., in Rwanda, of the girls who miss school, 36% of them miss because pads are too expensive).  Alternatively, they turn to rags which, in combination with a lack of a clean accessible water supply, are unhygienic and potentially harmful, let alone ineffective to contain leakage.
(See report: Addressing the Special Needs of Girls [PDF].)

Girls and women are vital to the well-being of their families, communities, and countries and it is important that they have access to education, good health, and jobs. For every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family (as opposed to 30 cents by men).  A pivotal study by Goldman Sachs shows that the greater the likelihood for women to work outside the home, the lower the fertility, reduced maternal and child mortality, and better health and education for current and future generations.  This, coupled with a Council on Foreign Relations study linking education levels to income earning potential, has driven SHE to do something about this problem!

SHE intends to fulfill girls’ and women’s unmet need by helping local women in developing countries jump-start their own businesses to manufacture and distribute affordable, quality, and eco-friendly sanitary pads.  SHE will look to use local raw materials, instead of all imported materials, to ensure affordability and accessibility.

SHE will couple its product innovation with a financially sustainable business model operated and owned by women in the community that can be replicated wherever the need exists.  SHE will instigate the launch of a local business by

  • Partnering with existing local women’s networks;
  • Ensuring a microfinance loan for women who will share start-up costs;
  • Training local group in necessary business skills and health and hygiene.

oliberte logo

Amid all the many charity-focused efforts to help the people of developing African nations, others strive to provide economic empowerment and help African entrepreneurs establish sustainable businesses. We’ve covered several of these—including some of the microfinance initiatives that have popped up—but Canadian shoe company Oliberté is taking a different approach by sourcing and setting up its manufacturing operations in Africa instead.

Oliberté makes and sells what it says is the first line of footwear to be made from natural rubber in Liberia. Two styles of lightweight shoes are currently available: Elika for women, and Rovia for men. Both feature a rubber sole crafted naturally and fairly in Liberia along with premium goat and cow leather sewn in Ethiopia. Elika is priced at CAD 106, while Rovia is CAD 115. Oliberté ensures that farmers, factory workers and suppliers are all paid fairly and treated responsibly, and it supports local training and communities in every country it works in. It’s also working in partnership with factories to improve its environmental footprint, it says. Toward that end, Oliberté even promises to take its shoes back at the end of their useful life, with plans to recycle and make them new again.

The company’s website explains: “Africa is more than just poverty and Oliberté is the start of a revolution that shows, through urban footwear, this is the real Africa! With every pair of Oliberté bought, we are making a powerful statement that Africa is proud, free and full of potential. You do this all while being a hero, because you are the reason men and women from Liberia to Swaziland to Ethiopia have a job, have food on the table and can send their children to school. Oliberté is not a charity—it is a company that believes you can change how the world views Africa and help build lives every time you buy a pair of Oliberté shoes.”

Oliberté’s shoes are available both online and through select stores in the US and Canada. Retailers: one to offer up to your own ethical consumers…?

Website: www.oliberte.com

Here are 2 personal examples of how I have seen this play out in Austin:

A couple of years ago I helped a local church launch a micro loan program inside it’s bi-weekly breakfast for the homeless.   One of the first loan recipients was William, a sharp and hardworking man in his mid 50’s with a 6th grade education and criminal record. Due to some some circumstances out of his control and some bad choices he made William was pretty much unhirable by typical standards; the only jobs he could get where manual labor which he was getting to old for.

William, however, posses a great skill set being that he was a 6th generation woodworker. One day William showed me his work and I told him, “Man people pay good money for stuff like that!”  He responded, “Well I don’t know those people and they would not buy from me even if I did.  Besides I no longer have my tools or money to get new ones and have to stay close to the homeless shelter so I can take care of the basics—food, clothing and shelter”

We offered William a loan in the form of a pre paided card to Lowes to buy the tools he needed and helped him get his cabinet and custom woodwork business get started. Now William is self employed making a decent living using the skills he already had. He no longer relies on the shelter’s charity and is a consumer of Austin’s goods and services as well as a taxpayer.

Mark, who is in his late 30’s and has an MBA from the university of Texas in Austin, had a nasty drug and alcohol problem that caused his downfall. I met Mark at the homeless shelter I used to work at shortly after I took over its computer lab, which was mostly used to check myspace, match.com and to play online games.

I transformed it into an employment center, where people could get help with making an inventory of their work experience, skill sets, and professional interest, as well as get help finding a job, creating resumes, brainstorm and develop entrepreneurial ventures with access to the tools and networks needed to help launching their ideas.

Mark started volunteering in the lab as he was working on kicking his addiction.  After a couple of months Mark became an indispensable part of the operation of the lab and I was able to convince a non profit to hire him to run the lab while I shifted to helping run the micro loan program and the “Bootstrap Homeless” initiative we had developed with a local entrepreneurial organization to develop and support homeless entrepreneurs to successful ventures and lives.

Mark was able to move out of the shelter into an apartment, and started rebuilding his life and took the shelter’s computer lab from a simple job center to a metrics driven results producing employment agency. Using all the skills that both his street knowledge and top ranked MBA degrees afforded him. He has since moved on from working at the shelter with a new lease on life, renewed sense of pride and accomplishment and has a steady income and an opportunity filled future.


Examples from the corporate world:

Manchester Bidwell corporation who very wisely forms partnerships with industry giants such as Bayer Corp. and provides them with custom trained employees from the ghetto of Pittsburgh who might otherwise be slaves to minimum wage, welfare or prison. Manchester does this so well that their graduates stand a better change of being hired than graduates from the Pennsylvania’s public colleges and universities. They have given these individuals a renewed sense of purpose, a clear path way out of poverty into opportunity and prosperity.

Malcolm Gladwell did a case study called “The Million Dollar Murray" in which he followed a middle aged man around for a year keeping a tally on how much it cost tax payer to support Murray daily use of the shelter system, detox programs, county jail and emergency rooms. The result was one million dollars to run this man through a half ass perpetual tax payer/donor funded life support system.

As Gladwell reveals, the amount of money it takes to solve the homeless problem could well be less than the amount it takes to ignore it.

Multinational corporations such as Unilever have created a large a amount of wealth for themselves and the communities in the developing world in which they do business by treating the poor as partners and customers rather than charity cases by employing the bottom of the pyramid approach.

There are tons more applications from health to the environment to our national food systems… This is not a matter of how do we do our charitable giving better. It is a matter that affects all rich and poor, young and old.

We live in a hyper interconnected world where every action has a huge ripple effect. This is more and more evident on a global scale everyday, we can no longer think “Well the problems of the poor in my country or the developing world don’t have a direct personal and financial impact on me.”

We have a choice to actively destroy or create our future. It is in all of our best interest to start creating and/or supporting these solutions. To shift from a pity mentality to an entrepreneurial mentality where we turn big nasty problems into profitable solutions.

Those who take the lead on this will not only create a better living conditions for themselves and their loved ones but stand to make a very good profit!

For further study: Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Kanter's working paper: Informed and Interconnected: A Manifesto for Smarter Cities.  it is an excellent read that masterfully unpacks this concept as city wide ecosystem approach.

August 9, 2009

A comprehensive survey of Social Entrepreneurship

This post was created in an effort to have a single document that serves as a primer for social entrepreneurship. It can be used as both a top level overview of the sector as well as provide easy access to further in depth research.

What is Social Innovation?

Social innovation is a sustainable initiative, product or process which profoundly changes the basic routines, resource and authority flows or beliefs of any social system. Successful social innovations are therefore disruptive and have durability, impact and scale.

Source: A Framework for Social Innovation


What is a Social Entrepreneur?

A social entrepreneur identifies and solves social problems on a large scale. Just as business entrepreneurs create and transform whole industries, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss in order to improve systems, invent and disseminate new approaches and advance sustainable solutions that create social value.

Source: PBS: The New Heroes. What is Social Entrepreneurship?

The Skoll Foundation’s CEO Sally Osberg and the University of Toronto’s Roger Martin assert that social entrepreneurs:

  1. Address a pressing need relative to “the exclusion, marginalization, or suffering of a segment of humanity that lacks the financial means or political clout to achieve any transformative benefit on its own.”
  2. Identify an opportunity by “developing a social value proposition, and bringing to bear inspiration, creativity, direct action, courage, and fortitude.”.
  3. Create a new paradigm which “releases trapped potential or alleviates the suffering of the targeted group, and through imitation and the creation of a stable ecosystem ensure a better future for the targeted group and society at large.”

source: Santa Clara University - Center for Science, Technology & Society - Understanding Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurs are:

  • Ambitious: Social entrepreneurs tackle major social issues, from increasing the college enrollment rate of low-income students to fighting poverty in developing countries. These entrepreneurial leaders operate in all kinds of organizations: innovative nonprofits, social purpose ventures such as for-profit community development banks, and hybrid organizations that mix elements of nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
  • Mission driven: Generating social value-not wealth-is the central criterion of a successful social entrepreneur. While wealth creation may be part of the process, it is not an end in itself. Promoting systemic social change is the real objective.
  • Strategic: Like business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs see and act upon what others miss: opportunities to improve systems, create solutions and invent new approaches that create social value. And like the best business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs are intensely focused and hard-driving-even relentless-in their pursuit of a social vision.
  • Resourceful: Because social entrepreneurs operate within a social context rather than the business world, they have limited access to capital and traditional market support systems. As a result, social entrepreneurs must be exceptionally skilled at mustering and mobilizing human, financial and political resources.
  • Results oriented: Ultimately, social entrepreneurs are driven to produce measurable returns. These results transform existing realities, open up new pathways for the marginalized and disadvantaged, and unlock society’s potential to effect social change.

Source: Background on Social Entrepreneurship - The Skoll Foundation


What Do Social Entrepreneurs Do?


In an article published in the 2007 Nexus magazine, Global Social Benefit Incubator Director James L. Koch outlines key principles necessary to break down barriers and make markets work for everyone.

  1. Address issues of injustice and inequality
  2. Overcome “civil engineering deficits”
  3. Enable access to capital for the poor
  4. Address barriers to internet access
  5. Solve distribution problems to make markets inclusive
  6. Overcome market inefficiency and failures
  7. Localize technology to seve marginalized population
  8. Address skill shortages as barriers to service delivery
  9. Address “non-consumption” through social marketing
  10. Develop Bottom of the Pyramid innovation ecologies
  11. Foster a vibrant civil society

source: Santa Clara University - Center for Science, Technology & Society - Understanding Social Entrepreneurship


Great examples of what social entrepreneurship looks like in practice.

Ohio Social Entrepreneurship Initiative - Examples of Social Enterprises (Short)

Breaking Down Barriers to a More Equitable and Prosperous World (in depth)


ClearlySo maintains a thorough glossary of related terms for this sector
http://www.clearlyso.com/glossary.jsf


Below are a few resources that expound what constitutes as social entrepreneurship:

Stanford Social Innovation Review : Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition

SocialEarth Video: Key Traits of Social Entrepreneurs

Social Capital & Social Business: The New Definitions - Social Edge

Social Edge: Defining Social Entrepreneurship

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Rediscovering Social Innovation

Standford Social Innovation review: Social Entrepreneurship Revisited

What’s the difference between Social Innovation, Social Enterprise & Social Entrepreneurship? 

Acumen Fund video: Imagine a world.

Ashoka Print Room

The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship” by [Duke’s] CASE Faculty Director Greg Dees (academic (PDF) white paper long yet highly informative)

January 31, 2009
January 22, 2009

Pedestal

RT @SouthwestAir For a complete explanation of our Earnings report, here’s Gary from CNBC this morning: http://tinyurl.com/c3xyfp