Unlike traditional entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs focus on addressing social issues rather than simply making a profit. In some cases, social entrepreneurs may operate as for-profit businesses, while others may operate as nonprofits. Regardless of the model used, social entrepreneurs aim to create positive change in the world.
Typically, social entrepreneurs will have personal experience with the issue they’re trying to address. They may also be well-positioned to develop new technology or business strategies that address the problem. Many social ventures also invest in technological innovation. In addition to focusing on their own products and services, social entrepreneurs may also develop initiatives that generate social goods, such as education and clean water.
The field of social entrepreneurship has been largely shaped by the work of the Schwab Foundation, a sister foundation of The World Economic Forum. The Schwab Foundation works to strengthen the field of social entrepreneurship, providing support and funding to entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact on society. Through its various programs, the foundation has impacted over six million lives.
The field of social entrepreneurship is still evolving. Global social entrepreneurs are particularly interested in meeting major social needs throughout the world. This includes improving access to education, clean water, healthcare, and housing. Many of these enterprises have global reach, while others focus on specific regions of the world.
For example, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a global social entrepreneur. Their mission is to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. They have also created a number of initiatives, including the Malala Fund, which supports girls’ education in underdeveloped communities. Their success has also inspired other countries to follow suit.
One of the most popular examples of global social entrepreneurs is TOMS. Founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006, TOMS was founded on the principle of one-for-one. For every pair of shoes sold, the company donated a pair to a child in need. As of 2018, TOMS had given away more than 95 million pairs of shoes. It also expanded its giving model to include safe drinking water and eye surgery.
Another example is Warby Parker. The company donates five million pairs of glasses to people in need, and has partnered with local government agencies to provide free vision screenings. Its business model places well-being at the core of its operation, allowing it to create a pleasant user experience and provide free eye exams.
The Malala Fund is a nonprofit that works to provide education to girls in underdeveloped communities. The Malala Fund’s business model also includes a scholarship program to help students attend university. As of 2019, the organization has also given away over two million school books to students in need.
Another example of a social entrepreneur is Shiza Shahid, who co-founded the Malala Fund. Shahid was also the founder of Our Place, a social enterprise that works to empower women. The organization uses technology to create a culture of sustainability. It has reached $1 million in revenue in just three years.