Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Are you a social entrepreneur?

The core psychology of a social entrepreneur is someone who cannot come to rest, in a very deep sense, until he or she has changed the pattern in an area of social concern all across society. --Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka

This morning on Daily Good, an on-line publication devoted to spreading good news, the topic is social entrepreneurship. What makes these people tick? The post this morning may help us all identify whether or not this type of entrepreneurship is the right one for us. Simply stated, social entrepreneurs found a business (often for-profit) that addresses a societal concern.

Could you be a social entrepreneur? Could your business or business idea be a social enterprise?

A personality checklist:
1.) Unable to come to rest until a cause you are passionate about is accomplished
2.) Belief that profit and social good are on equal footing
3.) Relationship builder
4.) Ability to connect the dots between experiences that seem disparate on the surface
5.) Persuade and inspire people to think differently

A business-cause checklist:
1.) As your company grows, do the economics and the cause support one another?
2.) Does the core business activity profoundly address the social cause it was founded to solve?
3.) Are both financial and social gains measurable in your business?

The interest in and passion for social entrepreneurship is growing quickly. One upside to this economy, is that people are being encouraged to think more creatively about how they want their lives to look and what they want to accomplish. After seeing the failings and flailings of many large corporations, many people are beginning to consider trading in their lives whiling away in grey cubicles for a chance to be entrepreneurs in charge of their own careers. And they'd like that effort to bring them financial gain and some improvements to the world around them.

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