The rise of entrepreneurship can be seen in industries of all types. Perhaps one of the most innovative sectors of entrepreneurship, however, is the rise of the social entrepreneur. Dedicated to developing solutions to the most pressing social problems the world faces, the social entrepreneur is a role model that instigates large-scale change for the betterment of society.

Characteristics of a Social Entrepreneur

Social entrepreneurs are not content to wait for government or business leaders to invoke change in the world – they seek out the solutions for problems and then spread the solution to others. This cultural revolution can be seen across the globe as grass-roots movements implement change on a large scale.

Social entrepreneurs can be classified as visionaries and realists who work relentlessly to develop a practical implementation of their solution, and who tirelessly encourage others to adopt the same processes. Philanthropists, social services organizations and other not-for-profit organizations are often considered social entrepreneurs as they work to better society with little regard for self-gain.

Social entrepreneurs have faced difficulty in establishing methods that are self-sustaining, but the use of social media and technology has increased the success and notoriety of social changes. Famous social entrepreneurs include Florence Nightingale, who advocated for the training of women as nurses; Blake Mycoskie, who created the Toms line of shoes – providing a pair of shoes to a needy individual with each purchase; and Paul Newman, whose Newman’s Own company donates 100% of profits to various charities.

As the use of technology helps to create new methods of problem solving, as well as increases the awareness of social problems, one can only assume that the level of social entrepreneurship will rise as well. Increased attention to society’s problems can lead to political change, training programs and corporate action that will help improve the living conditions of the global community.