Catch of the Week #5: What turns someone into a social entrepreneur?

Last update on Oct. 19, 2013.

Catch of the Week #5: What turns someone into a social entrepreneur?

What inspires someone to become a social entrepreneur, or a regular entrepreneur for that matter?

 

Objectively speaking, rolling the dice with your life and starting your own company seems like a crazy thing to do. And yet, many people take the leap. We’ve compiled three ideas and organizations that are looking into why people start social enterprises or are helping them develop the skills they will need to start one.

 

Proximity to other social entrepreneurs?

 

A recent report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation explored the issue of why people start social enterprises. Their hypothesis was that people are more likely to undertake entrepreneurial ventures if they know a successful entrepreneur. What do you think? Would you consider becoming an entrepreneur if you knew someone who had started a successful business? And what do you think the implications are for social entrepreneurship? How great would it be if the instances of people starting innovative social enterprises increased the more social enterprises there were. That’s a positive feedback loop that I would like to see! Check out this article to learn more.

 

Having the right teacher? 

 

When it comes to building the skills necessary for starting one’s own business, Defy Ventures is helping former drug dealers and gang leaders transform the skills that made them successful in the criminal world into productive entrepreneurial tools. The program is relatively new and is has been a great success. Approximately 70% of kids with felon parents follow in their parents’ footsteps. This program is helping overcome this issue. 

 

Does gender play a role? 

 

A recent article on Forbes.com claims that women are natural born social entrepreneurs. This statement was first made by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet at the 2012 Social Enterprise World Forum in Rio de Janeiro and has spawned many an article on the subject. It turns out that women are almost twice as likely to reach the top ranks in social enterprises than they are in mainstream businesses. It sort of makes sense in a way – women have long been linked to social occupations: nursing, teaching, social work and more. But what about the danger of characterizing social enterprises as “women’s work?” Do you think there is a benefit to associating women with social businesses or would you rather see social enterprises viewed as comparable to traditional business – distinct from the NGO fields and a legitimate way of doing business in its own right? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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The Catch of the Week is a new blog series we will be running here at I4P. Check in every Friday to see the featured projects, articles, events or fun facts that we have chosen from around the platform!

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