“Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.”
– Bill Drayton, CEO, chair and founder of Ashoka, a global nonprofit organization devoted to developing the profession of social entrepreneurship
One of the exciting by-products of the increased awareness and practice of corporate social responsibility has been the emergence and growth of social entrepreneurship as a serious social and ‘business’ trend in the last two decades. The potential of successfully marrying the competencies of business generating sources and markets, with solutions to social and environment issues is the main principle that underlies the concept of successful social entrepreneurship.
Today’s social entrepreneur is a dynamic, committed and driven individual who is able to identify sustainable solutions to social problems. He uses earned income strategies to pursue a social objective, and the outcome is directly connected to his commitment to resolve the social or environmental malaise he chooses to address through this enterprise. The profitability of a social entrepreneurship is driven by both financial and social returns, with the financial returns being redeployed into the enterprise to further its growth and sustain the ‘business’.
The future of permanent and lasting social change lies in the ability of these social enterprises becoming independent and self sustaining, moving away from philanthropy and becoming financially independent.
Modern day social entrepreneurship therefore, is actually about sustaining social change and growth through self-sufficiency instead of charitable contributions and government grants and subsidies.