Introduction to social entrepreneurship 1

Defining social entrepreneurship

There is a new terminology in the modern world that seems to confuse many people. Well, is it that new? May be this is an important question that we all need to answer. Social entrepreneurship – it is. So what is it all about? In it, we find two words, “society” and “Entrepreneur”. From a business perspective, we all know who an entrepreneur is – this is a risk taker, a person who is willing to try out things while risking others with an aim of reaping benefits from the investment. It is usually not an easy thing to be an entrepreneur. However, many people have tried and their entrepreneurship abilities have born success. There is a lot that can be used to define entrepreneurship as a term but when it comes to social entrepreneurship, it has something to do with the society. Therefore, it is some kind of entrepreneurship done for the society – you would say. So why do people do it? How does it benefit the masses? How does it benefit the individuals taking part in? These are important things to look at before we can all come to a conclusion of what social entrepreneurship is all about.

In a layman’s language, social entrepreneurship can be defined as taking worthy cause to address issues affecting the society. In more broad terms, social entrepreneurship is the effort taken to draw upon the techniques of doing business to get solutions to social challenges. The concept has been overly applied to different companies and organizations of different belief systems, aims and sizes. So is what companies do to support communities within which they operate part of social entrepreneurship? It is important to clarify that. The answer is emphatically, “NO”. There is social entrepreneurship and then there is corporate social responsibility. These two, although they may seemingly be having overlapping definitions and functions are very different things. The latter is what companies and organizations do to help out in the community while at the same time promoting their image to the people they treasure to be their customers and future prospects. Therefore, it is not social entrepreneurship. This type of entrepreneurship does not have such inclinations and ambitions.

Social entrepreneurship is by certain people who bring to existence certain developments in the society for others or for all to benefit. It does not have connotations of profit benefits in it. The sole idea embedded within social enterprises is to address issues such as unemployment, crime, maternal healthcare and healthcare needs in general among many other social issues. It is a collaborative effort that is not agitated by a desire to gain profits but with a move to offer lasting solutions to the challenges faced by the members of the society. However, the issue of profits may arise at some point. All the same, it is not always the focus. The concept of profits can arise especially when those involved do not want to overly depend on donors. The people may consider important to engage in income generating activities that will help them run operations in a way that is sustainable. Now you know!




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