Changing the world isn’t easy. To create a lasting impact, one must embrace innovation and risk. For social entrepreneurs, the prospect of helping those in need or addressing some social issue is often more appealing than simply spinning a profit.
Whether or not you can be considered a social entrepreneur largely depends on your motivation as well as your business practices. Beyond these qualifications, your personality and self-presentation are also significant. Being a social entrepreneur means making sacrifices while embracing a goal that could guide the world, or at least some small fraction of it, toward a better future.
All social entrepreneurs aim to improve the world, often by providing a remedy for an existing issue. If you have recognized the need for education or mentorship in one community and decided you can provide a service that accounts for this need, you might be a social entrepreneur.
The process of amending issues can be difficult; whether your business model entails donating items or proceeds to those in need, or whether your business raises money to build institutions that otherwise wouldn’t exist, a social entrepreneur must ensure they are aware of solid business practices. Having a desire to change the world does not make you a social entrepreneur; having a grasp on market forces, financial management, and philanthropy, however, contribute to this identity.
Perhaps what separates social entrepreneurs from their purely-business-minded counterparts is their attitudes toward profit. While staying out of debt is a logical goal for any business owner, social entrepreneurs are often more keen on achieving societal goals than making money. Some products of social entrepreneurship are completely non-profit, while others may dedicate some profit to supporting the cause. The important thing is that the focus of a social entrepreneur is on a desire to change an existing issue rather than a desire to achieve a profit through their business.
Selflessness characterizes a social entrepreneur. Rather than seek fame and fortune, they will strive to make a difference, and they do not mind admitting their mistakes and sharing credit for their accomplishments. Their passion is what drives them to work hard, often for little reward. What motivates them is not the potential business and financial success but a strong ethical compass.
Social entrepreneurs may support causes from raising awareness of environmental devastation to ending world hunger. Regardless of their particular passion, social entrepreneurs aim to enact lasting change by utilizing their economic knowledge, providing innovative and desirable products or services, and contributing monetary and physical donations to what matters to them.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a social entrepreneur, you can still strive to make a difference. Consider allocating some of your profits to a charity or non-profit organization that aligns with your values, or you could work with your community to plan mission trips and mentorship programs.