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Social Entrepreneurship is Paving the Way for Social Capitalism

Same Movement, Different Business Structure

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Social entrepreneurship has emerged rapidly in the last decade. It’s a wave that started because people are coming to the conclusion that governments around the world are failing to solve social problems. To combat that problem, businesses have decided to step up and fight for change.

The size of nonprofit organizations has grown significantly over the years. Colleges and universities are offering more degree programs for those interested in jobs with a social focus. Most major MBA programs now offer some classes on social entrepreneurship. There are even foundations that solely invest in social entrepreneurs. It’s a revolution to aid change and usually incorporate the following aspects:

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset. I look at it like an attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change. It's a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service and continuous improvement.


Ambition is the desire to achieve something, or to succeed. It is often accompanied with motivation, determination and an internal drive. Those who have ambition want to achieve success.


Business sustainability means managing the triple bottom line. This means they manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet.


Innovation is the process through which value is created and delivered to a community of users in the form of a new solution. This can be in the form of a new product or service, which is the outcome of the innovation process, that delivers value to a community.


Social impact is how organizations, businesses or individuals affect the surrounding community. It can be defined as an action that has a positive impact on communities.

All of these aspects are fantastic, however, there are still trials to be had with traditional social entrepreneurship.

The real challenge for many of these groups is to capitalize on the opportunities they have created. If any of these groups want to grow, funding is necessary. But there is no nonprofit equivalent to an initial public offering – no foundation grant, individual donor, or government support that can equal what the free market supplies to innovative for-profit companies.

This is why Josh and I are Social Capitalists. We want the exact same things as a social entrepreneur; we want to see change, to fix our world problems (i.e. unattainable health care, abuse, a dying planet). We are “reinventors” of the systems that are failing. The only difference is our funding structures. Social entrepreneurs are typically non-profit and need to earn funding, while Social Capitalists are for-profit entities that create their own funding.

Neither is right nor wrong, just a different business structure. When you look at the big picture, businesses are evolving to a higher purpose, they are starting to focus more on the “why” when it comes to purpose. There are movements all over the world and even in our own backyards full of people who want a sense of purpose in their lives. They want to be a positive contribution to society. Social Capitalism if the next mega trend of our time.

Original publish date: April 22, 2019

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