Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Social Entrepreneurship

Here is an excerpt from Paul Hawken's book Blessed Unrest.....

"Google - the $ 1 billion Google Foundation addresses poverty, disease, and climate change but has forsaken nonprofit tax status under IRS regulations in order to put money anywhere it wishes, whether in for-or nonprofit enterprises. The Google Foundation can make money, lose money, donate money, or invest money, whatever it takes to accomplish its social mission."

"Social Entrepreneurship - In the past decade, critics of the environmental movement have taken it to task, citing the worldwide collapse of ecosystems as proof of its ineffectiveness. What may be happening is the opposite. Although the momentum of damage and exploitation continues to accelerate in both the social and environmental arenas, the activity addressing it is increasing exponentially and has broken out of its traditional institutional boundaries. Emblematic of this shift is the growth of social entrepreneurship, which refers to activist who use entrepreneurial methods to address systemic social problems. Social entrepreneurs are innovative risk takers who use ideas, resources, and opportunities to tackle problems and produce social benefit. Although they can work in both the for-profit and nonprofit realms, their success is measured by social profit; monetary criteria are used where applicable to gauge the sustainability of their programs.

The practice of social entrepreneurship extends back to the public health movement during the Industrial Revolution and would include such notables as Florence Nightingale, Susan B. Anthony, and M.K. Gandhi. The greatest single practitioner of social entrepreneurship has been Bill Drayton of Ashoka. The best-known practitioner of social entrepreneurship is Muhammad Yunus, the creator of microfinance and microcredit, the founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, and the winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Despite the recent publicity, the work of most social entrepreneurs remains largely unnoticed."

In our own Rhino tribe we are cheering on Marshall McKenna and the Mana Deschisa Romania ministry as one of the leading edge pioneers of social entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe. More on that soon. Well done Marshall!

No comments:

Post a Comment