First Published: Sep 18, 2011 EntrepreneurJourney.com
Social entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs, but they work on a larger scale. Instead of concentrating on a business or an entity, social entrepreneurs concentrate on social problems and issues and use entrepreneurial skills to solve or change social issues to make society work or societal systems to work better, efficiently, and in harmony with nature and environment.
Social entrepreneurs can work in a voluntary or not-for-profit environment, or can also work in a non-voluntary or for-profit environment, just like a regular entrepreneur. However, their major goals are to concentrate on wide-scale social problems and to offer solutions for entire societies for a better tomorrow.
Social entrepreneurs are visionaries and practical minded to see what the real issues are and how practical the implementations will be. They avoid impractical and unrealistic solutions that may falter for the society as a whole, or solutions that may not be cost-effective or realistic for the long run.
Business entrepreneurs wait to seize the opportunity to identify and come up with products or services to change the face of businesses, to create whole new industries or create brand new markets. Social entrepreneurs take a similar approach, but on a different aspect. They seize the opportunities to change society and various societal systems that bound societies together with innovative solutions and strategies on a mass level for the society and its people.
Let’s look at a few very well-known social entrepreneurs:
Muhammad Yunus - Yunus, a noble laureate, invented microcredit, a loan system that awards very small loans to the poor for starting entrepreneurship.
John Muir - An American naturalist, worked to preserve nature and wilderness. He is the one who established the national park system and also the founder of the Sierra Club.
Florence Nightingale – The founder of modern professional nursing. She also established the first school for nurses. She dedicated and sacrificed her life to improve the health and welfare of all people.