Nelson Mandela: The True Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship

In David Bornstein’s, “How to Change the World, Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas,” Nelson Mandela provided a forward, “… wonderfully hopeful and enlightening… the stories of these social entrepreneurs will inspire and encourage many people who seek to build a better world.”

On December 5th, 2013, the world lost a giant social entrepreneur in Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. In this lifetime, there have been no other and may never be any other leaders like Nelson Mandela. Having commandeered the social transformation of a country, collapsing under the weight of apartheid, Mr. Mandela gained global acclaim for his unflinching courage and vision.
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Gregory Dees: The Man Who Defined Social Entrepreneurship

via:  Businessweek

In 1998, when Professor Gregory Dees wrote The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship, the phrase was barely known, even by those running “social ventures” at the time. As Roger Martin, former dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, wrote in a memorial, Dees (along with a small group of like-minded thinkers) “defined the contours of an establishing field.” Dees passed away on Dec. 20 at age 63. Below are excerpts from his seminal article written while teaching at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

The idea of “social entrepreneurship” has struck a responsive chord. It is a phrase well suited to our times. It combines the passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation, and determination commonly associated with, for instance, the high-tech pioneers of Silicon Valley. The time is certainly ripe for entrepreneurial approaches to social problems. Many governmental and philanthropic efforts have fallen far short of our expectations. Major social-sector institutions are often viewed as inefficient, ineffective, and unresponsive. Social entrepreneurs are needed to develop new models for a new century.

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10 Ideas Driving The Future Of Social Entrepreneurship

The 10th Annual Skoll World Forum, which brought together several hundred of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs to Oxford, has just wrapped for another year. The Forum serves as a useful barometer for how the climate of social enterprise is changing.

When it launched in 2004, it was all about celebrating the unknown social entrepreneurs, helping give them global recognition and credibility, and a platform to engage with policy leaders and large corporations. [Read more...]

Enjoy Life, Live Longer

Don’t worry, be happy — you may just live longer…

[Article] by Laura Entis | January 21, 2014 | via Entrepeneur

A large existing body of research shows that negative emotions — including depression, stress and anxiety — can have a detrimental effect on our physical well-being.

Andrew Steptoe, the director of the Institute of Epidemiology at University College London, decided to examine the flip side of the coin: Can a healthy, happy, energized mental state have a positive physical effect? “We were interested in seeing whether positive well-being might have a protective effect on age-related changes,” Steptoe says.

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Social Entrepreneurship: A Fundamental Game Changer

1/07/2013 @ 11:22AM | Dr. Ruth Shapiro

Editor’s note: Dr. Ruth Shapiro is the Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the Commonwealth Club and Principal of Keyi Strategies. Ms. Shapiro previously founded the Asia Business Council and served as its Executive Director since its inception in 1997 until 2007, and is now its Senior Advisor.

This article was originally written for the Skoll World Forum.

“Whenever I see a problem, I start a business”, said Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus in May 2010 at a program at the Commonwealth Club’s Series on Social Entrepreneurship. Thirteen of the leading lights in the field of social entrepreneurship gave talks which have been put together and edited by Dr. Ruth Shapiro in a new book, The Real Problem Solvers.

Whether there is a profit motive or not, the notion that business has a role to play in addressing societal issues is at the heart of today’s discourse on social entrepreneurship. Defining what social entrepreneurship is as well as the difference between it and traditional non-profit management as well as philanthropy is a flourishing discourse. Coined by Bill Drayton of Ashoka in the early 1980’s, the term social entrepreneurship has become somewhat of a catch-all phrase. Originally it referred to someone with the passion of an entrepreneur tackling a social challenge. Now, it has evolved to a number of meanings including but not limited to social interventions with distinctly business characteristics as well as businesses themselves.

With his remark, Dr. Yunus hit upon one of the main themes of the book: the blurring line between profit and non-profit, business and charity when providing a social good. The term non-profit organization has been used to describe what an organization is not rather than what it is. The equalization of social service work with non-profit balance sheets became sacrosanct. In order to do good, common practice and wisdom told us, we could not also do well. Now, that notion is being turned on its head. Not only do social investors believe that it is possible to do good and do well, other aspects of the old mindset are falling away. Many non-profit organizations are developing profitable income streams to both help their constituencies as well as the sustainability of their organizations by ensuring a stable bottom line. Throughout this book, stories of individuals and organizations are blurring the distinction between profit and non-profit are presented.

Another aspect of the social entrepreneurial movement is to approach social change with business rigor and analytical tools. What is efficacy in the non-profit world? What is the difference between a dreamer and an effective do-gooder? Social entrepreneurs are keenly interested in understanding impact. There is great effort to measure efficacy and seek means of improvement. As Jed Emerson, a leading writer and thinker in this space said, “The point isn’t so much whether you are a non-profit or a for-profit by rather how you manage for maximum value and impact as a leader.” The Acumen Fund has created a management system called Pulse which establishes metrics to determine efficacy and improvements in delivering social good. Room to Read measures every dollar against number of schools, libraries, books published and distributed and the time it takes to accomplish each task. These efforts help the non-profit sector become more effective, efficient with better and more economical programs.

Third, there is an extraordinary sense that change needs to be scaled and quickly. There is an increased sense that we must act now. While this is certainly true on environmental issues, the sense of urgency and individual responsibility has spilled out into the larger community. More and more people are feeling personally motivated to be more socially responsible. Schools are responding to this need. According to Aspen Institute, in 2007 63% of business schools in the United States offered courses on social enterprise or other aspects of the nexus between environmental, social and ethical considerations with business decisions. Ashoka provides course materials to over 800 undergraduate programs on social entrepreneurship.

There are a number of people and organizations contributing to the rise of social entrepreneurship. Today, the field has expanded to include the entire ecosystem involved with the promotion, support, and network of those involved with an endeavor designed to make the world a cleaner, more-equitable, healthier, and better-educated place.

Webster defines a movement as an organized effort to promote or attain an end. Today, there are many players, organizations, and strategies within the field of social entrepreneurship. It has become a movement, although not a centrally organized one. It is also a movement where there is a great deal of experimentation and creativity going on. Taking down walls around profit, innovation and investment has cleared the way for new and vibrant thinking and action around social change. While the larger goals remain constant, the strategies of getting there are expanding at a rapid pace. There is tremendous excitement and energy in the world of social entrepreneurship today and with that energy, comes real opportunity for sustainable change.

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via Social Entrepreneurship: A Fundamental Game Changer – Forbes.

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Business as a Path of Awakening

  • Research shows that entrepreneurs worldwide – at both the established and early-stage phases – exhibited higher ratings on subjective well-being compared to populations not involved in entrepreneurship activities, suggesting that entrepreneurship could be a good career choice for most.
  •  Entrepreneurs exhibit relatively higher rates of subjective well-being in comparison to individuals who are not involved in the process of starting a business or owning-managing a business. Another relevant result is that female entrepreneurs in innovation-driven economies exhibit on average a higher degree of subjective well-being than males.
  • This original research opens up possibilities for exploring the role of women and men entrepreneurs doing well by doing good, and looking beyond the traditional notion of development generally associated with economic indicators