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Social Entrepreneurship: What It Is and Why It Matters

By Rebecca TanNo Comments

Among the vast number of people pursuing financial independence, an increasing number of social entrepreneurs are focusing on fixing some of the world's most pressing issues. They are determined to make an effect that will better our lives and the environment by utilising the newest technology and ideas. For them, earning money isn't enough. They must provide significant value to the globe.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

What is Social Entrepreneurship

A social entrepreneur is someone who seeks out creative applications with the potential to address issues in their communities. These people are prepared to take the risk and make the sacrifices necessary to use their initiatives to improve society. Some social entrepreneurs may think that their line of work is a way to find your life's purpose, assist others in doing the same, and change the world—all while scraping by.

These people are prepared to take the risk and put out the effort to make a good difference in society via their projects. Social entrepreneurs may feel that engaging in this activity would help them find their life's purpose, as well as assist others to find theirs and make a difference in the world.

However, even if a higher focus is placed on promoting social or environmental improvements, social entrepreneurship is a for-profit business, which is commonly mistaken for nonprofit organisations. Continue reading to discover more about five socially conscious businesses.

Understanding Social Entrepreneurship

While most entrepreneurs are driven by the prospect of making a profit, this does not preclude the average entrepreneur from making a constructive contribution to society.

Microfinance institutions are an example of social entrepreneurship. These organisations provide banking services to jobless or low-income individuals or groups that might otherwise be unable to obtain them. Another example of social entrepreneurship is educational initiatives that offer financial services in neglected communities and assist children orphaned by pandemic sickness. All of these initiatives are aimed at meeting unmet needs in communities that have been disregarded or denied access to services, products, or basic necessities that are available in more developed areas.

SRI (socially responsible investment) and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing are both connected to social entrepreneurship. The practice of investing in firms and funds that have beneficial social consequences is known as a socially responsible investment (SRI). In recent years, SRI has gained in popularity. Investments in firms that produce or sell addictive chemicals are frequently avoided by socially conscious investors (like alcohol, gambling, and tobacco). They will more likely to look for businesses that are working on issues like social justice, environmental sustainability, and alternative energy or clean technology.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are used by socially conscious investors to analyse possible new investments. This set of guidelines considers how a company acts as a steward of the environment, how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities in which it operates, as well as how it treats its executives, compensates them, and handles audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.

Social Entrepreneur vs Entrepreneur

The fundamental difference between social entrepreneurs and business entrepreneurs lies in their underlying motivations and benchmarks for success.

Social entrepreneurs are primarily driven by a deep commitment to creating positive societal change. They prioritize the betterment of communities and the environment over financial gains, measuring success not in terms of profit margins but in terms of the tangible, sustainable improvements they bring to the well-being of society. These individuals and organizations often operate with innovative, non-traditional structures, leveraging the power of volunteers and community-driven initiatives to address pressing social needs.

In contrast, business entrepreneurs are typically profit-oriented, seeking financial success and growth. Their primary focus revolves around maximizing revenue, market share, and profitability. While both types of entrepreneurship play essential roles in the economic landscape, social entrepreneurs stand out for their dedication to making the world a better place, often through unconventional organizational structures that prioritize the greater good over monetary gains. Success for social entrepreneurs is achieved not only when their initiatives are financially sustainable but, more importantly, when they create lasting and positive societal impact.

Below are some of the differences we can see between business entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs:

4 Reasons Why Social Entrepreneurship Matters

You will be a powerful source of inspiration.

Simple as that, social initiators motivate others to take good, and occasionally great, actions. Their capacity to champion excellent ideas and persuade others to support them acts as a potent catalyst to start a positive feedback loop. Along with well-known social entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, there are also less well-known but no less successful social entrepreneurs who seek to improve the places where they live and work on a daily basis.

Relationships beyond economic purpose.

Social businesses may also help individuals in social and economic networks form deep bonds with one another. Unlike conventional commerce and other commercial ties, social interactions encourage exchanges by providing emotional support not just to those in need but also to company owners.

Sharing knowledge and resources across communities, on the other hand, might benefit similar social groupings from all over the world. International humanitarian projects like fair trade, for example, have demonstrated that social entrepreneurship may assist generate networking possibilities between two or more nations while simultaneously bolstering individuals who are economically and socially marginalised.

A more responsive business to create economic and social value.

"Social value" is the overall development you notice in a society, usually on a broad scale. Sustainable environmental practises, high literacy rates for the impoverished, open communication among citizens, less health risks, and higher creativity from informed and healthy citizens are other positive aspects in addition to impact on individuals.

It makes the world better.

Social value and social transformation are at the centre of each social enterprise activity, according to the slogan "do well by doing well." Entrepreneurs use monetary profit as a vehicle to achieve people-centred goals. Social entrepreneurship is unquestionably more than a business venture; it provides society with good, world-changing answers at a time when we desperately need them.

Because it maximises societal benefit, social entrepreneurship is important. Entrepreneurs in the third and fourth sectors believe that it is their responsibility to give back to their communities. To accomplish so, they develop novel approaches to addressing global and local critical social challenges such as healthcare, homelessness, and child labour.

Social Entrepreneurship Ideas

So, you'd want to do some good but aren't sure where to begin? Here are a few social entrepreneurship ideas, as well as some tips on how to come up with your own:

  • Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a method for businesses to generate money for a good cause, mainly for non-profits that are fair and socially conscious. Small companies can start their own crowdfunding campaigns, give money later, or collaborate with certain organisations before launching a campaign.

Social Entrepreneurship / Crowdfunding
  • Educational Travel

Hands-on learning activities that widen perspectives and help individuals grasp diverse world views are part of educational travel. If you're a social entrepreneur, educational travel is a good idea since it's important to know about the varied environmental, economic, and social problems in the nations you'll be working with so you can make meaningful connections that help you comprehend pain issues.

  • Employment Services

Offering free resume help, job training, mock interviews, or just assisting individuals in finding work prospects can all be part of a socialpreneurial company for employment services. You may either start a business or start a side project to provide these services.

  • Micro-lending

Microlending is providing small loans to people or enterprises that do not have access to other forms of credit. You can start a micro-lending firm as a social venture to help those who can't get loans from traditional sources. You may be able to provide small firms with the funding they want to expand, or you may be able to assist an ambitious entrepreneur in getting their foot in the door.

How to Pick a Social Entrepreneurship Idea?

Define your passions and areas of interest

Do you feel that every child in Malaysia should have access to a laptop while studying? Do you spend your weekends volunteering at an orphanage? Are you a supporter of any local charities? It is to figure out what you are passionate about and where your interest lies.

Identify existing market the gaps

Once you've figured out what you're passionate about, it's time to figure out where there are holes in existing products or services and how you can address them. For example, if the animal shelters are struggling to keep food fresh before they are able to use it, you can consider how you to develop a service that makes it faster and simpler to obtain fresh food for stray animals in your region.

Identify your key strengths and skills

Are you a fantastic writer or a natural salesperson? Make a list of your talents and skills, and explain how they may help you achieve your goal. This is also a good time to recognise your flaws so you know who to turn to for assistance.

Decide on a business model

Starting a nonprofit is not always the same as becoming a social entrepreneur. Decide whether or not you'll commercialise your concept, how you'll monetize it, and what business model you'll use. It's critical to understand how your business will be organised, whether you're interested in a cross-compensation model like TOMS and Warby Parker or total stewardship like Books to Prisoners.


These days, people trust businesses that they feel are dedicated to taking action today more than ever. Consumers, for example, are 80% more inclined to trust a company that they feel is dedicated to resolving social concerns, particularly in the area of racial justice.

So, if you're still thinking about becoming a social entrepreneur, there's no better time than now. Make a plan for the future today and help to make the world a better place.


Social Entrepreneur

Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition

Social Entrepreneurship: What It Is and Why Everyone's Talking About It

5 Reasons Why Social Entrepreneurship Matters

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