Social Entrepreneurship?

We welcome a series of posts about social entrepreneurship. Two weeks ago (from the date of publishing this post) we took CASFLO for a workshop at Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal for a class where students had to take on a social entrepreneurship project. Whilst debating with the class it came to us that this exciting approach to entrepreneurship would be great topic for our blog, particularly from a business model perspective.

So, along with this post these complement this series:

What is social entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship is a form of entrepreneurship that has the objective of producing goods and services for social benefit. These initiatives usually have different goals than a common entrepreneurship project, as social entrepreneurship seeks to help people by generating social capital and inclusion, whilst acting at different geographic scopes such as local, regional or global scale.

Differences between Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship

The main difference between these forms of entrepreneurship is the “profit”. For a normal entrepreneur, reaching profit is one of the goals of the entrepreneurship action (and can be the most relevant one, albeit it seldom is). But the social entrepreneur does not have financial profit as a priority, as his or her project seeks to respond to social and environmental challenges. The social entrepreneur seeks to maximize the social capital in each project in order to ensure the growth of more initiatives, programs and actions for the communities.

Another common difference is the ownership of the idea/product/service. As a entrepreneur you will not want anyone else to use your idea at all. However, as a social entrepreneur you may create ideas that can be used or replicated by others, as the main objective is to disseminate the idea or product so that it is applied in other locations to help out those local communities.

Planning a social entrepreneurship project is, in many ways, similar to any other entrepreneurship project. But, there are differences that should be accounted for. So check out the following posts about the altruistic route!