Social Entrepreneurs Cross Between ’Richard Branson and Mother Teresa’

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In the developed and developing worlds, governments and business have failed to solve many endemic social problems.

In response to that failure, social entrepreneurs are using innovative solutions to bring about measurable change.

Such social enterprise has arrived in a big way.

Bill Clinton advocates it. Billionaires such as Bill Gates and Jeff Skoll fund it. With a growing track record of successful not-for-loss enterprises, social entrepreneurship is an idea whose time has come.

But who are today’s social entrepreneurs, and what makes them tick?

They share many features with their business entrepreneur counterparts, yet while they often use similar means, social entrepreneurs pursue different ends.

Above all, they aim for positive social change. Hence the Schwab Foundation’s assessment that they need to “combine the characteristics of Richard Branson and Mother Teresa.”

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