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Social Entrepreneur


A social entrepreneur is an individual who establishes and operates a business with the aim of resolving social issues and affecting positive change in society. They employ business and innovative techniques to build a profitable business which also contributes to public good. These entrepreneurs focus equally on driving social impact and generating profits.


The phonetic spelling of “Social Entrepreneur” is /ˈsoʊʃəl ˌɒntrəprəˈnɜːr/.

Key Takeaways

Three Main Takeaways About Social Entrepreneur

  1. Social Impact: The primary purpose of a social entrepreneur is not to generate profit but to implement widespread improvements in society. They operate by providing solutions to social issues, often with an innovative approach that’s not traditionally used in the private sector.

  2. Innovation: Social entrepreneurs are known for their innovative nature. They think outside the box and are not afraid to challenge the norm in order to find solutions to social problems. They often disrupt industries or sectors in their efforts to bring about meaningful change.

  3. Sustainability: Even though a social entrepreneur’s main goal is not to make a profit, they understand the importance of their initiative’s sustainability. They aim to have a long-term impact by creating social value, and they pursue resources, strategies, and business models that will uphold their venture’s durability.


Social Entrepreneurship is a significant term in business and finance as it refers to the unique amalgamation of business principles and social causes. The importance lies in its approach to use entrepreneurial skills not only for profit-making but to bring about social change. This is achieved by creating and implementing solutions to address specific social or environmental issues. A social entrepreneur, hence, not just aims for the sustainability and scaling of business, but also measures his success in terms of the positive impact he brings to society. It’s the need to blend creativity, innovation, and knack for business with a passion for resolving societal issues that makes this concept critically significant, especially in the contemporary era of corporate social responsibility.


A Social Entrepreneur primarily seeks to generate positive social impact or contribute to solving social problems through novel and creative means, instead of focusing solely on pursuing profitability. This type of entrepreneurship comes into play when there are substantial social issues that need addressing and inadequate resources or ineffective traditional approaches haven’t brought about sustainable or significant changes. A social entrepreneur uses entrepreneurial principles, blending business know-how and acumen with a drive to create positive change, ultimately using their enterprises as vehicles to deliver social innovation.The central purpose of a social entrepreneur is to bring about improved societal outcomes, whether in education, health, environmental conservation, or poverty alleviation, often employing innovative methods that are adaptable, sustainable, and effective. While they still need to ensure the financial sustainability of their enterprises, they prioritize creating societal value over creating personal or shareholder wealth. As such, social entrepreneurs are often advocates for individuals or communities affected by the social problem they are trying to solve, acting as agents for change who develop and implement practical solutions to improve social outcomes.


1. TOMS Shoes: Blake Mycoskie founded TOMS Shoes on the idea and model of “one for one”. For every pair of shoes sold, the company donates a pair to a child in need. This approach to business combines the principles of traditional entrepreneurship with a distinct goal of contributing positively to society. 2. Warby Parker: An online eyewear retailer that practices social entrepreneurship by using a similar model to TOMS. For every pair of glasses sold, they donate another pair to someone in need around the world. 3. Grameen Bank: Founded by Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Grameen Bank provides microloans to the impoverished without requiring collateral. Bridging financial services to those left out of the traditional banking system, Grameen Bank helps to combat poverty and also stimulates entrepreneurship.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Social Entrepreneur?

A social entrepreneur is a person who establishes an enterprise with the aim to solve social problems or effect social change. They use business techniques and innovative approaches to create and improve social wealth and well-being, rather than maximizing profits only.

How do Social Entrepreneurs make money?

Social Entrepreneurs approach their business similar to traditional entrepreneurs, through sales, service charges, or subscriptions. However, they may also rely on grants, donations, and other funding to supplement their operations.

What is the difference between a traditional entrepreneur and a social entrepreneur?

The key difference lies in their primary goals. While traditional entrepreneurs are primarily concerned with profit generation, social entrepreneurs focus on generating social value, addressing social challenges, and creating positive changes in society.

Can a Social Entrepreneur be profitable?

Yes, a social entrepreneur can be profitable. The profitability can support the sustainability of their social initiative.

What is an example of a social entrepreneur?

One of the most well-known social entrepreneurs is Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank. He Developed the concept of microcredit to help poor people in rural areas to become self-employed.

What skills do social entrepreneurs need?

Social entrepreneurs need a combination of business and management skills along with a deep understanding of the social cause or issue they are addressing. This includes skills like strategic thinking, leadership, resilience, innovation, understanding of the nonprofit and business sectors, and ability to build strong relationships and alliances.

Is Social Entrepreneurship a career?

Yes, Social Entrepreneurship can be a rewarding career. It can also be a secondary business or a means of making a positive impact on society, while still providing for an individual’s economic needs.

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