Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship is a concept that has been around since the 1950’s but has only really gained traction in the last 15 or 20 years.  The idea is that a for-profit business is created where the primary motivation is social impact, rather than financial.  This type of business is different than a charity in that, rather than relying on donations, it must make a profit to be sustainable.

An example of social entrepreneurship you may be familiar with, Muhammad Yunus, “the father of microcredit” founded the Grameen Bank in 1976.  His idea was to provide small business loans to help millions of people in small communities around the world start or grow their own micro-businesses.  He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his influence in creating the microfinance movement and impact on Social Entrepreneurship.

To be a social entrepreneur in the purest sense is pretty difficult, especially to a people like our members who have businesses to run and families to feed, but I suspect that many of our members have some degree of this concept built into their business.

Topic this week:  what social impact does your business have?

Project for coming weeks to think about…  We have an incredibly gifted group of business people in our clubs and I know that we all share the desire to leave something behind that is greater than ourselves.  I think it would be a cool challenge to see if we can collectively create an organization that both has a social impact and sustains itself through its own profits.

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