Saturday, March 29, 2008

Social-Entrepreneurship A New Path For Many

I still intend to use this weblog for various lines of inquiry, and endeavor to combine different ideas and perspectives. One area that this weblog has been exploring is social-entrepreneurship. The concept of combining the ideas of social responsibility with that of entrepreneurship appeals to my economic development background and progressive philosophy, though many might see that combination as an oxymoron.

This is part of my motivation for learning how the ideas and theories of economics could be applied to real life. It has also provided the opportunity to find numerous websites featuring programs that are making a difference in the world from TED, MIT and others.

Although the term has been around since the 1960's, my self-education only started with this weblog. It seems though that there is a fundamental change going on. Why is this coming to to vogue now? How does it differ from what we had been doing? Much of what is found here and with a related post was gathered from Entrepreneurial Mind and originated from Sam Davidson with

On 2/18/08 via The Entrepreneurial Mind tells us of A New Age of Social Ventures
Many of those who manage non-profits will tell you that it seems that they spend more time raising money than actually working toward their cause of choice. The competition for donations and gifts seems to get tighter every year. And so-called donor fatigue seems to be becoming almost epidemic.
A charitable dollar can be used only once. A dollar invested in a self-sustaining social business is recycled endlessly.

Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector via The Entrepreneurial Mind on 2/10/08
So why all the attention to entrepreneurship in the social sector? According to Harvard Business School professor Jane Wei-Skillern in an interview published in Working Knowledge it is because the more traditional approaches to solving social problems have been "falling short." From Working Knowledge: An entrepreneurial approach, they say, allows social organizations not only to maximize value from limited resources, but also to leverage resources beyond the organization's direct control through a creation of networks.
Social Entrepreneur versus Non-profit via The Entrepreneurial Mind
On 2/25/08 Sam Davidson offered a good distinction at his blog between the traditional non-profit and the emerging social ventures that do not choose to take the non-profit route. For the first time, students can focus on what it means to build a business that is focused on multiple bottom lines, focusing on serving the community while running their operation. No longer are students forced to choose between operating a greedy business or working for an altruistic nonprofit. Now, students can live and work in that lovely overlapping Venn diagram of a place where their need to make a living can coincide and address the largest needs of the world.

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