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Social entrepreneurship describes the discovery and sustainable exploitation of opportunities to create social and environmental benefits. This is usually done through the generation of disequilibria in market and non-market environments.
The social entrepreneurship process can in some cases lead to the creation of social enterprises. These social ventures are hybrid organizations exhibiting characteristics of both the for-profit and not-for-profit sector. Individuals engaging in social entrepreneurship are usually referred to as social entrepreneurs, a term that describes resourceful individuals working to create social innovation.
They do not only have to identify (or create) opportunities for social change (that so far have been unexploited), they must also muster the resources necessary to turn these opportunities into reality. A typical example is Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank (Bangladesh) and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his contribution to poverty alleviation through the invention and popularization of microfinance.
Recommended Online Resources
The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems.
Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty.
Provides grant information, education, and professional connections for social entrepreneurs around the world.
Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is a not-for-profit, independent and neutral organization, founded in 1998, with the purpose to advance social entrepreneurship and to foster social entrepreneurs as an important catalyst for societal innovation and progress.
Society for Non Profits
Society for Nonprofits is a leading resource for nonprofit professionals and has been helping nonprofit leaders increase their knowledge and grow the capacity of their organizations for more than 30 years. Website includes a free resources section.
Social Enterprise Alliance
"Our aim is for social enterprise to reach its full potential as a force for positive social change, in service to the common good. To achieve this purpose, we provide social enterprises with the tools and resources they need to succeed, and work on building an optimal environment in which they can thrive."
Social Venture Network
"SVN connects you to a growing community of innovative business leaders and social entrepreneurs to help you improve your business, enhance your leadership, and expand your impact."
Articles and Reports freely available online
Databases and UofSC Resources
Business Source Complete
Full text articles and abstracts for the most important scholarly business journals, dating back as far as 1886.
Access to global news and business information including the Wall Street Journal, as well as local newspapers, same-day newswires, company reports, and media programs. Not all content is available.
Find it @ UofSC
Suggested search terms:
• Social entrepreneurship
• corporate social responsibility
• socially responsible companies