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What is a Social Entrepreneur?

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Social entrepreneurship is when you start a business embed a philanthropic cause into your mission. This type of entrepreneurship is also called “altruistic entrepreneurship.” This can include both non-profit organizations and for-profit organizations alike.

Social entrepreneurs are innovators who start companies and organizations that are committed to giving back to their communities or society as a whole.

Some examples of these companies are:

TOMS - a brick and mortar company that sells socks and has a buy-one-give-one business model. So, every time someone buys a pair of socks TOMS donates a pair to a charity.

Tesla - a car manufacturing company whose mission is environmentally based. They turn a profit putting its clean energy products out to the market in the form of their gasless cars.

Lush – a cosmetics company whose stance is environmental consciousness. Lush products are considered to be “naked,” which means it is free of packaging. Having less packaging helps to protect the environment and upholds its mission. They also give money to other environmental groups to help them further their mission.

What are the types of social entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship can take many forms:

  • Co-operative. A business organized by and for its members. Credit unions, hospitals, and community grocery stores are some examples of co-ops.

  • Socially responsible business. For these companies, their support of social missions is embedded in the way they operate their business.

  • Social purpose business. These businesses start for the primary purpose is to champion a social mission.

  • Nonprofit. A tax-exempt, non-business entity dedicated to furthering a particular social cause. It’s excess funded are also re-invested into impact activities.

  • Social firm. These businesses created to employ people who have a disability or disadvantaged in the labor market.

  • For-profit. These businesses are profit-first but donate funds, raise awareness, and support causes that are mission-aligned. Like the examples given above.

Is your business a social enterprise or do you want to become a social entrepreneur, then keep following this blog, my podcast, Change Agentz Podcast, and YouTube Channel, Change Agentz TV for more insight into the subject matter?

Strategically Yours,


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