Thematic Areas Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship

What is Social Entrepreneurship? And why is it gaining importance so fast? This article will try to offer some approaches, sources and links on work, efforts, importance and ideas on Social Entrepreneurship. For further information and articles please have a look at the different articles below. You will also find some information and articles on this thematic area within the forum, together with information on Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

"Nonprofits have to recognize that they're businesses, not just causes. There's a way to combine the very best of the not-for-profit, philanthropic world with the very best of the for-profit, enterprising world. This hybrid is the wave of the future for both profit and nonprofit companies." -- From "Genius At Work" - an interview with Bill Strickland, CEO of the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and the Bidwell Training Center Inc.

The nonprofit environment has changed.

  • Community needs are growing in size and diversity.

  • More nonprofits are competing for government and philanthropic funds.

  • Traditional forms of funding are becoming smaller and less reliable.

  • New for-profit businesses are competing with nonprofits to serve community needs.

  • Funders and donors are demanding more accountability.

"In the face of this new reality, an increasing number of forward-looking nonprofits are beginning to appreciate the increased revenue, focus and effectiveness that can come from adopting "for profit" business approaches. Increasingly, they are reinventing themselves as social entrepreneurs, combining "the passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation, and determination." -- From "The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship" by J. Gregory Dees.

Source: On the website you will find a wide range of further information, links and articles on Social Entrepreneurship.

On the Ashoka homepage,, another introduction to the field of Social Entrepreneurship is offered. "Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change. Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps. Social entrepreneurs often seem to be possessed by their ideas, committing their lives to changing the direction of their field. They are both visionaries and ultimate realists, concerned with the practical implementation of their vision above all else."

Source:, October 21, 2009.



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