What is a Social Entrepreneur?

What is a Social Entrepreneur?

A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change (a social venture).

Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur focuses on creating social capital. Thus, the main aim of social entrepreneurship is to further social and environmental goals.

However, whilst social entrepreneurs are most commonly associated with the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors, this need not necessarily be incompatible with making a profit.

Who are Social Entrepreneurs?

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.

Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps.

Social entrepreneurs often seem to be possessed by their ideas, committing their lives to changing the direction of their field. They are both visionaries and ultimate realists, concerned with the practical implementation of their vision above all else.

Each social entrepreneur presents ideas that are user-friendly, understandable, ethical, and engage widespread support in order to maximize the number of local people that will stand up, seize their idea, and implement with it. In other words, every leading social entrepreneur is a mass recruiter of local changemakers, role model proving that citizens who channel their passion into action can do almost anything.

Over the past two decades, the citizen sector has discovered what the business sector learned long ago: There is nothing as powerful as a new idea in the hands of a first-class entrepreneur.

What is a Social Enterprise?

Social enterprises are social mission driven organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. The movement includes both non-profits that use business models to pursue their mission and for-profits whose primary purposes are social. Their aim is to accomplish targets that are social and/or environmental as well as financial: is often referred to as the triple bottom line. Many commercial businesses would consider themselves to have social objectives, but social enterprises are distinctive because their social or environmental purpose remains central to their operation.

Grants to launch Social Enterprises in Canada?

[+B.C Grants: Growing the Social Economy from Vancity.]

[+B.C Grants: enp Granting Program.]

[+B.C Grants: The BC Social Enterprise Fund.]

[+Ontario Grants: Centre for Social Innovation Social Enterprise Funding Program]

[+Alberta Grants: Social Enterprise Fund (SEF)]

[+National Social Enterprise Capital Resource Database]

Capital for Social Enterprise in Canada: What's the capital funnel looking like?

[+Ontario vs Quebec: Building Capital, Building Community: A comparative analysis of access to capital for social enterprises in Ontario and Quebec

[+The Nonprofit Sector Capital Market in British Columbia and Alberta (2009)

[+Social Capital, Social Entrepreneurs and Safer Communities: Enabling Albertas Communities to Work out Lasting Solutions (2008)

Are you interested in learning more about the Social Enterprise Business Structure in Canada?

As of right now "Social enterprise' has, as yet, no legal meaning in Canada. The Income tax Act allows charitable organizations and public foundations to undertake related business activities, but not unrelated business activities, while private foundations cannot undertake any business activities.

To learn more click the following link to download a PDF by Stacey Corriveau entitled:

[+"Social Enterprise Business Structure: Some Considerations for registered Charities."]

This fact sheet is provided by the B.C Centre for Social Enterprise and funded by the Canada Revenue Agency.

(Please visit the individual research nodes for more information about their social enterprise projects: Atlantic, Quebec, Southern Ontario, Northern Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, Northern, British Columbia and Alberta)