What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social Entrepreneurship (SE) is a relatively new concept that has emerged largely within the past generation. It represents business that is socially conscious and strives to bring positive change to a community or group. This involves the creation or development of social capital through innovation in business. Social entrepreneurship is generally associated with secular hybrid organizations that seek to make profit while at the same time providing humanitarian assistance or environmental conservation. It has a double bottom line, and aims to generate income while promoting positive social change. Social entrepreneurship can be understood as “innovative, social value creating activity that can occur within or across the non-profit, business, and public sectors” (Austin, 2006). Brozek highlights two good definitions from The Social Enterprise Alliance which defines social enterprise “as an organization or venture that achieves its primary social or environmental mission using business methods” and the Blended Value organization, which defines a social enterprise as a “nonprofit organization that uses business solutions to accomplish social goals; the social objective is the primary driver” (Brozek, 2008).
Social Entrepreneurship is “innovative, social value creating activity that can occur within or across the non-profit, business, and public sectors.”Austin, 2006
Social business is non-loss, non-dividend business either owned by or benefiting the poor, whereby profit is reinvested in business development and investors are repaid. These hybrid organizations are generally characterized by subsidized rates or a mix of payers and non-payers, donations that contribute to capital, volunteers or below market wages, and discounted or donated supplies (Rundle, 2012;72 adapted from Dees 1998). The Nobel Prize winning founder of the Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, is one key advocate of Social Business. As the concepts of social entrepreneurship and social business have developed over the past twenty years, a parallel movement has taken place within Christian missions agencies.