Some entrepreneurs change the world, and make money doing it

Friday, June 1, 2012

Entrepreneurs change the world.

Some develop new products or services that meet real needs or delight customers. Some create new jobs.

Increasingly, entrepreneurs and small-business owners want a more direct, positive effect on our planet and its people. They want to use their entrepreneurial skills and attitudes to tackle some of the globe’s most pressing issues.

The movement, typically referred to as social entrepreneurship, is spreading rapidly. People are starting businesses — profit-making enterprises — with the goal not just of making money but doing good in the world.

By their nature, entrepreneurs are optimists. They look at a need and see an opportunity, not an insurmountable problem.

Many now see the ills facing our planet and recognize an opportunity to meet those needs, solve those problems, and perhaps make a profit at the same time.

When I started consulting with entrepreneurs more than 20 years ago, this kind of social goal in a for-profit company never would have been taken seriously. You would not have found investors willing to put their money behind a venture to reduce hunger or eliminate pollution or bring clean water to impoverished areas.

That was what nonprofit groups were for.

Source: USA Today (link opens in a new window)