Are you a social entrepreneur? If you founded, work for, volunteer, or are otherwise associated with a nonprofit the answer is most definitely yes! Social entrepreneurs differ from business entrepreneurs primarily because their main objective is to make the world a better place. This vision affects how they measure their success and how they structure their enterprise (ie Nonprofit). They are the reformers and revolutionaries of our society today. Their visions are bold. They seek out opportunities to improve society, and they take action. How do they do that?
Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value.
For social entrepreneurs, the mission of social improvement is critical, and it takes priority over generating profits. Instead of going for the quick-fix, social entrepreneurs look for ways to create lasting improvements.
Recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission.
Where others see problems, entrepreneurs see opportunities! Social entrepreneurs have a vision of how to achieve their goals, and they are determined to make their vision work.
Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning.
Social entrepreneurs look for innovative ways to ensure that their ventures create social value and obtain needed resources and funding as long as they are creating value.
Acting boldly without being limited to resources currently in hand.
Social entrepreneurs are skilled at doing more with less and at attracting resources from others. They explore all resources options, from pure philanthropy to the commercial methods of the business sector, but they are not bound by norms and traditions.
Exhibiting a heightened sense of accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created.
Social entrepreneurs take steps to ensure that they are creating value. They seek to provide real social improvements to their beneficiaries and their communities, as well as an attractive social and/or financial return to their investors.
The best measure of success of a social entrepreneur is not how much profit they make, but rather the extent to which they create social value. Although you may act locally, your actions have the very real potential to stimulate global improvements in your chosen arena, whether that is education, health care, job training and development, the arts, or any other social endeavor.
Resource: Enterprising Nonprofits by J. Gregory Dees