Social entrepreneurship is the start-up of a company whose final objective is not the maximization of economic benefit, but the creation of value for society.
Social entrepreneurship consists of the satisfaction of a social or environmental need, through a company that generates economic benefits and reinvests them in achieving the main social objective.
We should not confuse social entrepreneurship with non-profit organizations, since the latter do not seek economic benefit and the social entrepreneur, through his company, if he seeks the monetary benefit that will be used for social purposes.
We must not confuse social entrepreneurship with social innovation, since entrepreneurship implies the start-up of a company whose business model can be social innovation. However, a socially innovative idea can be carried out by an already created company, an NGO or the public sector and it does not have to carry an implicit business model.
Elements of social entrepreneurship
For the start-up of a business idea to be classified as social entrepreneurship, it must have at least the following elements:
- The main objective must be social change and the creation of value for society.
- It must provide innovative solutions to existing social problems. We talk about problems such as the fight against poverty, hunger, disease, social exclusion, education, crime or climate change.
- You must use a business as a means to achieve your end.
- Most of the profits must be reinvested in promoting and achieving the ultimate social objective.
Characteristics of a social entrepreneur
For an entrepreneur to be characterized as a social entrepreneur, he must meet two essential requirements:
- Being aware of a social problem, as well as having the will and motivation to want to change it.
- Have the skills to be an entrepreneur, that is, lead a team, seek financing, sell the product and achieve success. Only with the idea and the illusion, you do not achieve success in the business world, but you have to have the skills of any other entrepreneur.
Examples of social entrepreneurship
Some examples of social entrepreneurship are the following:
- A company that sells bottled water and allocates 100% of the profits to the creation of a system to bring drinking water to underdeveloped areas.
- A crowdfunding company where only social projects are financed.
- A company that employs people with disabilities and relies on human labor versus machinery that could do the same job.
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