Seeking America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Entrepreneurship has always been about solving problems. What distinguishes social entrepreneurs is how much their solutions improve people’s lives. They’re building companies to lift people out of poverty, improve global health, extend human rights, and protect the environment. They’re business people, too, and they take profits as seriously they take their missions. Social enterprises aren’t charities-they sustain themselves and grow because their customers pay for the value they create.

We want your suggestions for companies to profile in’s third annual roundup of America’s most promising social entrepreneurs. We recognize that what it means to be a social enterprise is open to debate, as more companies incorporate social goals and nonprofits increasingly rely on business methods to further their missions.

Here’s what we’re looking for: ??Entrepreneurs creating profitable, scalable companies to solve social problems. We want businesses with social missions baked into their operations, not tacked on as extras. We want companies that can demonstrate results, both in the marketplace and in their missions. That means we’ll only consider companies that will disclose their annual revenues. We’re seeking for-profit companies based in the U.S., doing business here or abroad, that meet these criteria.

Submit your company or another you know of using the form below. We’ll take suggestions through Mar. 31, though there is no need to submit the same company more than once. In the early summer, our reporters and editors will post profiles of the 25 we find most promising. Then we’ll ask you to vote for the one you find most promising, and announce the five that get the most votes. (For a look at roundups from previous years, click here and here.)

Source: Businessweek (link opens in a new window)