What is the Need for Social Entrepreneurship Today?

Many companies today are being socially responsible through corporate social responsibility. There are some entrepreneurs who take it upon themselves to engage with the larger population, find common problems and try to contribute their part to society. 

There are so many organizations, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs who have a sense of social responsibility. As they earn profit out of society they try to give it back through social entrepreneurship.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship is a process of recognizing the social issues present in society and taking a step to sort them using entrepreneurial theories and principles by formulating plans and policies. 

Social entrepreneurs could either be entrepreneurs who deeply care about the social issues or individuals who have the means and sources to get it right. They could start or collaborate with non-profit organizations or non-governmental organizations to take it further. 

What is a Social Enterprise?

A Social Enterprise concentrates on curing the social issues in the political space, the country, or that are environmentally oriented. And their main objective is to emphasize the three factors that constitute the world. 

  • People: 

Human needs are the first and foremost observation of social enterprise. Food, clothes, shelter, other basic needs, human rights, laws that affect livelihood, etc. Creating a social change, improving and uplifting the community on the whole. 

  • Planet: 

The livability of the planet must be improved. Environmental issues are the second important issue to deal with as a social enterprise. Sustaining the greenery of the planet, water availability, contributing towards stopping global warming are a few places to begin. 

  • Profit:  

These enterprises look for funding, donations, and charity (basically) to run their cause. Some entrepreneurs loop in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of their business into a foundation. It is one of the most popular methods of social enterprise. 

What are the types of social entrepreneurship?

These are some of the types of social enterprises that run all over the world. These three types give a clear idea of how a social enterprise functions.

Non-profit organization: 

It is one of the major efforts taken by the businesses to start as a non-business entity and a way to exempt tax. The non-business entity that invests back the excess funds into the projects to uplift the society. 

Co-operative Society: 

Any business with an organized mission and objective with members to constitute rules of the enterprise then it comes under co-operative societies. This is majorly formed to uplift the rural background with farming and consumption issues.

Non-Governmental Organization: 

NGO is also a form of a non-profit organization. They get funding from membership fees, private sector companies that run based on profit, other philanthropic foundations, grants from agencies (local, state, and national), and private donations from individuals. 

Social Entrepreneurship Program in Universities:

The entrepreneurial journey has to begin with Universities. Social Work could not only be a discipline but could also be included in other curriculums to get awareness in earlier stages of life. 

The passion for social entrepreneurship can be discovered only when the Universities give a chance to explore the diversities. Here are some universities that offer excellent opportunities to explore this field.

  1. Stanford University 
  2. University of Pennsylvania
  3. The University of Oxford
  4. Duke University
  5. Yale University
  6. Northwestern University
  7. Harvard University 

These universities all offer social entrepreneurship programs – they induce action learning, which means that they involve taking part in social activities as they take up social entrepreneurship programs.  

Inviting real-time social entrepreneurs to presents speeches to the students could be a way to go. Instead of talking about Porter’s five force model, Competitive advantage, Maslow’s Hierarchy, and 7 P’s they could be asked to talk about actual social issues that they tackled while taking up a social project with their team. 

Social Entrepreneurial programs could start from high school with small projects by working with students aiding in cleaning up their school and community around their schools or even educating the people on financial inclusion schemes that could be worked out through the government. 

Stories increase awareness on Social Responsibility:

There are millions of issues starting from political to environmental – and everything cannot be solved by the government’s futuristic policies. Eventually, there are going to be unexpected issues growing like weeds here and there. 

There has to be equal participation by entrepreneurs and the student community to deal with the social issues. Sharing stories is one way of taking up social issues. These are two books written by women entrepreneurs that educated and inspired me on social entrepreneurship.

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates: 

Melinda Gates is the co-chair and the trustee of Gates Foundation. She worked at IBM before starting her career with Microsoft. She quit Microsoft to look after her kids and restarted her career in philanthropic activities. 

Her concentration initially started with contraceptives. Though she is a Catholic, she strongly believes that a woman having a choice about giving birth largely affects the standard of living in the family and in the economy of a country. 

Her book, “The Moment of Lift” filled with her perspective on contraceptive medicines, then grew into the eradication of Polio and another deadly disease that affects the life of an individual. Her concentration was to give the means to provide the solution to the problems that are given little or no attention in our world. 

Three Thousand Stitches by Sudha Murty: 

The next important social worker who inspired me is Sudha Murthy, the Chairperson of Infosys Foundation. She shares all her steadfast passion for social work in her book “Three Thousand Stitches”. She equally shares her personal stories involving her experiences of meeting women who suffered domestic violence, human trafficking as slaves in the Middle East, her engineering struggles, and much more.  

All 179 pages consist of stories that touch your heart in some way or the other, even getting aware of something socially atrocious. The Foundation concentrates on health care, education, culture, destitute care, and rural development. 

Social entrepreneurship should be driven by passion and the ability to contemplate hard perspectives on social issues. It serves as the possible fire in the rectification of the economic crisis due to the potential to actually solve social issues. The need for social entrepreneurs in this world will always prevail as long as social issues exist. It is our responsibility as humans to help other humans in need. Let’s help each other survive and grow. 

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Saaradha Kumar
Latest posts by Saaradha Kumar (see all)

2 thoughts on “What is the Need for Social Entrepreneurship Today?”

  1. Hi Saaradha,

    I dig the message here. I met someone yesterday who worked in finance for decades. She noted how managing a department focused on being socially responsible felt fun and freeing. We have a duty to build businesses from the heart, not the head. Do things from love. Help people with integrity at the forefront of your mind. Life feels more fun when you build a business on service and allow the monetizing to take care of itself as your skills, credibility and exposure expands, along with your income streams.


    • It’s so true, Ryan. When leadership builds a culture of giving back that’s core to the operations, it really does create good will with the public. And it can certainly help create and retain loyal clients and generate revenue.


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