Five Predictions For The Future Of Social Entrepreneurship
Monday, November 19, 2012
1.) Social entrepreneurship will dissolve as a distinct discipline #FutureSocEnt
Don’t be alarmed – this is a good thing. Right now, social entrepreneurship is treated as a discipline in its own right. For the moment, this is a welcome situation, drawing attention and resources to the social sector while stimulating new frameworks and new enterprises. But through the coming years we’ll see social entrepreneurship woven into the very fabric of existing disciplines, becoming an integral lens through which we understand all sectors and fields of study. The mainstreaming of social enterprise means its disappearance as a distinct activity and will, ultimately, lead to the systemic shifts necessary for broad-scale social change.
2.) Assumptions of high profit margins will be recalibrated to the realities of mission-based enterprise #FutureSocEnt
Enthusiasm around impact investing continues to grow. And an increasing number of social entrepreneurs are convinced that they can make money and find meaning in their work. The good news is that the social sector will prove that enterprises can be financially sustainable, even profitable. The bad news is that optimistic assumptions around profit margins will encounter a hard reality check. Succeeding in business is very difficult. Succeeding in a business with an integrated social mission is doubly so. Despite the occasional success story, social entrepreneurs and impact investors will have to get used to thinner profit margins that will, generally speaking, have an inverse relationship to social impact.