Tag Archives: Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Social Change Using the Power of Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Social Change Using the Power of Entrepreneurship

Basic knowledge of business policy and strategic management are advantageous.

Course content

The domain of social change is no longer reserved to students of political sciences and development studies. Increasingly business students are recognized as possessing important skills that can drive social change. This new discipline is often referred to as Social Entrepreneurship (S-ENT). S-ENT describes the discovery and sustainable exploitation of opportunities to create public goods. This is usually done through the generation of disequilibria in market and non-market envi­ronments. The S-ENT process can in some cases lead to the creation of social enterprises. These social ventures are hybrid organizations exhi­biting characteristics of both the for-profit and not-for profit sector. Individuals engaging in S-ENT are usually referred to as social entrepreneurs, a term that describes resourceful individuals working to create social innovation. They do not only have to identify (or create) opportunities for social change (that so far have been unexploited), they must also muster the resources necessary to turn these opportunities into reality. A typical example is Prof. Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank (Bangladesh) and recipient of the Nobel Peace price in recognition of his contribution to poverty alleviation through the invention and popularization of Micro­finance. Other examples include fair trade or car-sharing. Today many foundations aim to identify and promote social entrepreneurs. Two pro­minent examples are Ashoka and the Skoll Foundation. So called venture philanthropists adopt methods from the domain of venture capital, for example, encouraging social entrepreneurs to provide detailed business plans and to measure and report systematically on their social performance. Social Return on Investment (S-ROI) analysis is an example, for an emerging tool aiming to describe the social impact of S-ENT in dollar terms, relative to the philanthropic investment made.