Social entrepreneurs are drivers of change. Together with institutions, networks, and communities, social entrepreneurs create solutions that are efficient, sustainable, transparent, and have measurable impact .
A few examples of social entrepreneurs and their systems-changing solutions include:
- Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank which spearheaded micro finance globally
- Carlo Petrini’s “slow food movement” which currently has 100,000 member in 132 countries committed to rescuing cultural traditions and the preserving biodiversity
- Wendy Kopp’s Teach for America which transforms educational opportunities for low income groups whilst recruiting top university students to work in America’s worst performing public schools.
Ambitious: Social entrepreneurs tackle major social issues, from increasing the college enrollment rate of low-income students to fighting poverty. They operate in all kinds of organizations: innovative nonprofits, social-purpose ventures, and hybrid organizations that mix elements of nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
Mission driven: Generating social value not wealthis 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.
Oriented: 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.