Doing Good Well
What does (and does not) make sense in the nonprofit world

Chapter 15: Social Entrepreneurship

Innovating Social Change

Social entrepreneurs effect systemic, large scale social change through innovative approaches.

Studies of social entrepreneurs find and emphasize similarities with business entrepreneurs. But it is the one crucial difference between the two that determines their methods and impact – money. When a business entrepreneur succeeds, the money flows freely to expand his business – and his bank account. For a social entrepreneur, scaling up often requires more money which continues to be dependent upon the largesse of donors.

When you compare successful social entrepreneurs with successful business entrepreneurs who are philanthropic such as William Hewlett and David Packard, there is no question that the latter group has had a greater positive impact. But there is a need in this world for both kinds of entrepreneurs and they can be symbiotic.