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Understanding Social Entrepreneurship

Understanding Social Entrepreneurship

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Published by S.Rengasamy
Teaching material compiled by S.Rengasamy to supplement the class room teaching for Master of Social Work (Community Development Specialization)-Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship syllabus prescribed in Madurai Kamaraj University
Teaching material compiled by S.Rengasamy to supplement the class room teaching for Master of Social Work (Community Development Specialization)-Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship syllabus prescribed in Madurai Kamaraj University

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Published by: S.Rengasamy on Dec 28, 2009
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04/05/2013

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S.Rengasamy - Understanding Social Entrepreneurship
1
Social Entrepreneurs
"Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. Theywill not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry."-
Bill Drayton, CEOFounder of Ashoka,
 "Nonprofits have to recognize that they're businesses, not just causes. There's away to combine the very best of the not-for-profit, philanthropic world with thevery best of the for-profit, enterprising world. This hybrid is the wave of thefuture for both profit and nonprofit companies."
Bill Strickland, CEO of the ManchesterCraftsmen's Guild
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 theincreased revenue, focus and effectiveness that can come fromadopting "for profit" business approaches. Increasingly, they are reinventing themselves as social
 
S.Rengasamy - Understanding Social Entrepreneurship
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entrepreneurs, combining "the passion of a social mission with an image of business-likediscipline, innovation, and determination." J. Gregory Dees.What do the following great people have in common? All are exemplary social entrepreneurs,leaders who have identified sustainable solutions to social problems that have fundamentallychanged society.
 
Jane Addams
founded Hull-House in 1889, a social settlement to improve conditions in apoor immigrant neighborhood in Chicago, then expanded her efforts nationally. Addams gainedinternational recognition as an advocate of women's rights, pacifism and internationalism, andserved as the founding president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.Her work ultimately resulted in protective legislation for women and children.
 
Maria Montessori,
the first female physician in Italy, began working with children in 1906and created a revolutionary education method that supports each individual child's uniquedevelopment. Montessori schools allow each child to realize his or her full potential by fosteringsocial skills, emotional growth and physical coordination, in addition to cognitive preparation.
 
Muhammad Yunus
revolutionized economics by founding the Grameen Bank, or "villagebank," in Bangladesh in 1976 to offer "microloans" to help impoverished people attain economicself-sufficiency through self-employment, a model that hasbeen replicated in 58 countries around the world.
 
Vinoba Bhave
(India) - Founder and leader of the Land GiftMovement, he caused the redistribution of more than 7,000,000acres of land to aid India's untouchables and landless. MahatmaGandhi described him as his mentor
 
Dr.Verghese Kurien
(India) - Founder of the AMUL DairyProject which has revolutionized the dairy industry through theproduction chain of milk, small producers, consumer productsand health benefitsJust as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social
 
S.Rengasamy - Understanding Social Entrepreneurship
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entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss andimproving systems, inventing new approaches and creating sustainable solutions to changesociety for the better. However, unlike business entrepreneurs who are motivated by profits,social entrepreneurs are motivated to improve society. Despite this difference, socialentrepreneurs are just as innovative and change oriented as their business counterparts, searchingfor new and better ways to solve the problems that plague society.
Social entrepreneurs are:
 
Ambitious:
Social entrepreneurs tackle major social issues, from increasing the collegeenrollment rate of low-income students to fighting poverty in developing countries. Theseentrepreneurial leaders operate in all kinds of organizations: innovative nonprofits, socialpurpose ventures such as for-profit community development banks, and hybrid organizations thatmix elements of nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
 
Mission driven:
Generating social value-not wealth-is the central criterion of a successfulsocial entrepreneur. While wealth creation may be part of the process, it is not an end in itself.Promoting systemic social change is the real objective.
 
Strategic:
Like business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs see and act upon what othersmiss: opportunities to improve systems, create solutions and invent new approaches that createsocial value. And like the best business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs are intensely focusedand hard-driving-even relentless-in their pursuit of a social vision.
 
Resourceful:
Because social entrepreneurs operate within a social context rather than thebusiness world, they have limited access to capital and traditional market support systems. As aresult, social entrepreneurs must be exceptionally skilled at mustering and mobilizing human,financial and political resources.
 
Results oriented:
Ultimately, social entrepreneurs are driven to produce measurable returns.These results transform existing realities, open up new pathways for the marginalized and
disadvantaged, and unlock society’s potential to effect social change.
Today, social entrepreneurs are working in many countries to create avenues for independenceand opportunity for those who otherwise would be locked into lives without hope. They rangefrom Jim Fruchterman of Benetech, who uses technology to address pressing social problemssuch as the reporting of human rights violations, to John Wood of Room to Read, who helpsunderprivileged children gain control of their lives through literacy. They include Marie TeresaLeal, whose sewing cooperative in Brazil respects the environment and fair labor practices, andInderjit Khurana, who teaches homeless children in India at the train stations where they begfrom passengers.Whether they are working on a local or international scale, social entrepreneurs share acommitment to pioneering innovation that reshape society and benefit humanity. Quite simply,they are solution-
minded pragmatists who are not afraid to tackle some of the world’s biggest
problems.

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