combined with information and communication technologies,
microcredit can unleash new opportunities for the world's
poorest entrepreneurs and thereby revitalize the village
economies they serve."
-- Madeleine K. Albright and John Doerr
on the principles of private initiative, entrepreneurship
and self-employment, underpinned by the values of
democracy, equality and solidarity, the co-operative
movement can help pave the way to a more just and
inclusive economic order"
business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs
are to social change. They are the driven, creative individuals
who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities,
refuse to give up, and remake the world for the better."
to the management expert Peter F. Drucker, the term "entrepreneur" (from the French,
meaning "one who takes into hand") was introduced two centuries ago by the French
economist Jean-Baptiste Say to characterize a special economic actor--not someone
who simply opens a business, but someone who "shifts economic resources out of
an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield." The
twentieth-century growth economist Joseph A. Schumpeter characterized the entrepreneur
as the source of the "creative destruction" necessary for major economic advances.
-- David Bornstein
entrepreneurs have existed throughout history. St. Francis of Assisi, the founder
of the Franciscan Order, would qualify as a social entrepreneur -- having built
multiple organizations that advanced pattern changes in his "field." Similarly,
Florence Nightingale created the first professional school for nurses and established
standards for hygiene and hospital care that have shaped norms worldwide. What
is different today is that social entrepreneurship is developing into a mainstream
vocation, not only in the United States, Canada, and Europe, but increasingly
in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In fact, the rise of social entrepreneurship
represents the leading edge of a remarkable development that has occurred across
the world over the past three decades: the emergence of millions of new citizen
-- David Bornstein
have a mind-set that sees the possibilities rather than the problems created by
-- J Gregory Dees
entrepreneurship describes a set of behaviors that are exceptional. These behaviors
should be encouraged and rewarded in those who have the capabilities and temperament
for this kind of work. We could use many more of them. Should everyone aspire
to be a social entrepreneur? No. Not every social sector leader is well suited
to being entrepreneurial. The same is true in business. Not every business leader
is an entrepreneur in the sense that Say, Schumpeter, Drucker, and Stevenson had
in mind. While we might wish for more entrepreneurial behavior in both sectors,
society has a need for different leadership types and styles. Social entrepreneurs
are one special breed of leader, and they should be recognized as such. This definition
preserves their distinctive status and assures that social entrepreneurship is
not treated lightly. We need social entrepreneurs to help us find new avenues
toward social improvement as we enter the next century."
-- J Gregory Dees
when someone sees the next step."
entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will
not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry."
The core psychology of a social entrepreneur is someone who cannot come to rest,
in a very deep sense, until he or she has changed the pattern in an area of social
concern all across society. Social entrepreneurs are married to a vision of, for
example, a better way of helping young people grow up or of delivering global
healthcare. They simply will not stop because they cannot be happy until their
vision becomes the new pattern. They will persist for decades. And they are as
realistic as they are visionary. As a result, they are very good listeners. They
have to hear if something isn’t working; and, whenever they do, they just keep
changing the idea and/or the environment until their idea works. They are intensely
concerned with the how-to’s: How do I get from here to there? How do I solve this
problem? How do these pieces fit together?
biggest problem is getting beyond the “you can’t” syndrome. The moment you figure
that out, you’re on your way to flying. Anyone who cannot see problems around
him or herself is utterly blind. All the problems sitting there are an invitation
for you to be creative, make use of your skills and resources and find a solution.
Of course you can do it. It doesn’t require brilliance. It’s just giving yourself
permission and then being persistent. Persistent in seeing the problem or opportunity
and persistent in thinking about it until you have come up with some interesting
ideas that might change the pattern. It’s really a mindset, not anything in the
objective world — that is the problem.
is the most powerful lever you can imagine? A big idea, but only if it’s in the
hands of a truly outstanding entrepreneur. It starts with the person and the idea,
and then grows to the institution. All three are intertwined.
we need is an entrepreneurial society in which innovation and entrepreneurship
are normal, steady and continuous."
Peter F. Drucker
entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an
they [companies] believe they are in business to serve people, to help solve problems,
to use and employ the ingenuity of their workers to improve the lives of people
around them by learning from the nature that gives us life, we have a chance.
~ Paul Hawken
entrepreneurship needs to become a mass activity,
not just the domain of inspirational mavericks ...
Entrepreneurship usually comes from teams, not heroic
individuals. Social entrepreneurs thrive on interdependence,
learning and borrowing resources from the public and
-- Charles Leadbeater
enable the poor to lift themselves out of poverty
-- Pierre Omidyar
social entrepreneur is somebody who knows how
to make an idea reality, and one of the great
ideas of our time is pluralism. Can people from
different backgrounds live together in mutual
peace and loyalty? And what we need is a generation
of young social entrepreneurs who know how to
make that great idea reality in an historical
moment where religious extremists are, frankly,
making their idea reality.
Trade is a market-based, entrepreneurial response
to business as usual: it helps third-word farmers
developing direct market access as well as the
organizational and management capacity to add
value to their products and take them directly
to the global market. Direct trade, a fair price,
access to capital and local capacity-building,
which are the core strategies of this model,
have been successfully building farmers' incomes
and self-reliance for more than 50 years."
entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of an area
of lower and into an area of higher productivity and
-- Jean-Baptiste Say
function of entrepreneurs is to reform or revolutionize
the pattern of production... by exploiting an invention
or, more generally, an untried technological possibility
for producing a new commodity or producing an old
one in a new way, by opening up a new source of supply
of materials or a new outlet for products, by reorganizing
an industry and so on."
-- Joseph Schumpeter
world must become aware of the fantastic transformational
power of social entrepreneurship and the Foundation
will work as a catalyst in this effort."
entrepreneurs come from all levels of society
and from communities in nearly every country
of the world. They all share the same underlying
drive and passion to see their ideas through.
Many of them have had a huge effect on the world,
yet most people have not even heard of them
– a trend we hope to change!
little bit of good can turn into a whole lot
of good when fueled by the commitment of a social
Not everyone can be Gandhi, but each of us has the
power to make sure our own lives count – and it’s
those millions of lives that will ultimately build
a better world.
developed world has a vast, under-utilized asset that
is not being leveraged to its best advantage: idealistic
people who want to make the world a better place.
For most of a century, idealistic people have been
encouraged to use anger, protest, lobbying, and legal
action in order to make the world a better place.
While most certainly some of these behaviors and activities
were necessary, we have reached the point at which
the social benefit of such behaviors is decreasing.
We have reached the point at which creation, rather
than attack, ought to be the first obligation of reformers.
The social entrepreneurship movement is the first
tip of this iceberg. We want to create a world in
which all idealists realize that the creation of new
enterprises is the most powerful way to make positive
change in the world. If all the energy that is currently
invested in zero-sum political conflict was gradually
transferred to the committed creation of sustainable
enterprises, the cumulative impact on behalf of the
good would be extraordinary.
-- Michael Strong
are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with
their money or reputations on the line in support
of an idea or enterprise.”
YOUR BetterWorld Path: SOCIAL