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We don’t mean to offend. We just want to make an important distinction.
BIGG success is life on your own terms. So we pay a great deal of attention to terms.
The term we want to talk about today is “social entrepreneurship”.
It’s a popular term, a buzz word even. People say with pride, “I’m a social entrepreneur” or “I want to be a social entrepreneur.”
Wikipedia defines a “social entrepreneur” as “someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change.”
Let’s deconstruct just one part of that definition – the term “social” as an adjective.
Among other definitions, Merriam-Webster defines “social” as “tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others.”
The problem with social entrepreneurship
So here’s the problem – here’s why we say social entrepreneurship is a waste of time: It’s redundant.
- ALL entrepreneurs are social entrepreneurs.
- ALL entrepreneurs exist to serve society.
- ALL entrepreneurs must recognize a social problem – a problem affecting the welfare of a group of human beings.
- ALL entrepreneurs must use entrepreneurial principles to solve that problem.
- ALL Entrepreneurs add value in the lives of others to create value for themselves.
All entrepreneurs need money
Now, some entrepreneurs have a profit motive while others don’t. But they all have to find funding somehow.
Some entrepreneurs raise capital to get a venture going and then repay it from profits. Other entrepreneurs rely on donations of time and/or money to get a venture going. But they must find a steady flow of cash from somewhere.
But to describe one activity as social and the other as not is a mislabeling.
ALL entrepreneurs are social because ALL entrepreneurs try to help a group of people.
Profit is not a dirty word
Entrepreneurs who forget this basic tenet of entrepreneurship are the ones who fail. Novices often go into ventures only thinking about how they will make money. You have to think about the people and their problem.
Of course, you have to think about the money too – whether you’re starting up a for-profit venture or not. And don’t ever forget:
Profit is not a dirty word. Every entrepreneur – for profit or non-profit – has to find a money trail to sustain their operation.
But focus on the problem first. Then figure out your funding and your cash flows.
Once you know how to create value for yourself by adding value for others, you’re ready for BIGG success!
Do you think “social entrepreneurship” is redundant?
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