What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Enormous opportunity gaps exist in our world. Our societal and environmental seem to grow in size and scope by the day (check out our infographic for a small sample). Governments and big business aren't going to solve these problems for us. It'll be up to social entrepreneurs with unreasonable visions to create innovative solutions to these challenges. Social entrepreneurs create financially sustainable models to address our most pressing societal and environmental issues.
Triple Bottom Line:
Traditional businesses are focused solely on profits. Nonprofits are focused solely on their mission. Social enterprises measure themselves on the Triple Bottom Line: People, Profit, and Planet.
You can think of social enterprises as a hybrid between traditional business and mission driven nonprofits. Social entrepreneurs can be for profit or nonprofit, but they rely on earned income ventures to fuel their positive impacts on our planet and its people.
Some of our favorite examples of social entrepreneurship:
Kiva gives people around the world the opportunity to fund microfinance loans to microentrepreneurs in the developing world. Microfinance is the supply of loans, savings programs, and other basic financial services to thsoe living in poverty. In just $25 increments, Kiva gives people the opportunity to help those in poverty lift themselves out of poverty through funding loans for their small businesses.
Impact Engine is a 16 week accelerator program located in Chicago, IL that supports for profit social enterprises addressing today's most pressing societal and environmental challenges. Impact Engine invests $25,000 into the companies accepted into their program in return for a 7% equity stake. Checkout its portfolio of game changing companies here.
"Have a pint. Change the world." is the tagline of the Oregon Public House, a nonprofit bar that donates all of its profits to charities. It allows its customers to come in, enjoy its food and craft beer, and then choose where the profits of their bills go to from a short list of local charities. The Oregon Public House opened in May 2013 and has already generated over $15,000 for local charities.