Social Entrepreneur

What is a 'Social Entrepreneur'

A person who pursues an innovative idea with the potential to solve a community problem. These individuals are willing to take on the risk and effort to create positive changes in society through their initiatives.


Examples of social entrepreneurship include microfinance institutions, educational programs, providing banking services in underserved areas and helping children orphaned by epidemic disease. The main goal of a social entrepreneur is not to earn a profit, but to implement widespread improvements in society. However, a social entrepreneur must still be financially savvy to succeed in his or her cause.

BREAKING DOWN 'Social Entrepreneur'

While most entrepreneurs are motivated by the potential to earn a profit, the profit motive does not prevent the ordinary entrepreneur from having a positive impact on society. As Adam Smith explained in "The Wealth of Nations" (1776), "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest." Smith believed that when individuals pursued their own best interests, they would be guided toward decisions that benefited others. The baker, for example, wants to earn a living to support his family. To accomplish this, he produces a product, bread, that feeds and nourishes hundreds of people.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Entrepreneur

    An individual who, rather than working as an employee, runs a ...
  2. Self-Interest

    Acting in the way that is most personally beneficial. Adam Smith, ...
  3. Social Responsibility

    The idea that a company should embrace its social responsibilities ...
  4. Adam Smith

    An 18th-century philosopher and free-market economist famous ...
  5. Microfinance

    A type of banking service that is provided to unemployed or low-income ...
  6. Social Enterprise

    An organization that is directly involved in the sale of goods ...
Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Why Entrepreneurs Are Important for the Economy

    This article discusses the importance of entrepreneurs and their important value-add to the economy of a state.
  2. Term

    How Entrepreneurs Benefit the Economy

    Why are entrepreneurs important for the economy?
  3. Entrepreneurship

    The 5 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

    Understand what an entrepreneur is and the type of risk an entrepreneur faces. Learn about the five skills necessary to become a successful entrepreneur.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    5 Steps to Become an Entrepreneur

    Understand what it takes to become an entrepreneur, and learn about five steps that can help someone become an entrepreneur and build a successful business.
  5. Investing Basics

    Entrepreneur Vs. Small Business Owner, Defined

    An entrepreneur is different from a small business owner, and requires a different temperament.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    10 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

    Being a successful entrepreneurs requires more than just an idea or a lot of money. Here are ten things that set successful entrepreneurs apart.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    10 Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Have

    Discover 10 habits common to successful entrepreneurs that you can emulate in your journey toward achieving success in your own career and life.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    10 Characteristics Of Successful Entrepreneurs

    Do you have the qualities of a successful entrepreneur? Those who do tend to share these 10 traits.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    5 Good Habits Every Entrepreneur Needs

    Understand who an entrepreneur is and what an entrepreneur does. Learn about the 5 good habits that every entrepreneur should have.
  10. Professionals

    Who Counts as an Entrepreneur?

    An entrepreneur is a person who starts a new business or organization, taking some personal financial risk to do so. He or she may quit a secure job to devote time to starting the new business, ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does an entrepreneur help the economy?

    Find out about how entrepreneurs play a fundamental role in capitalist economies by helping to coordinate resources and bearing ... Read Answer >>
  2. Who coined the term "entrepreneur"?

    For one, it wasn't Adam Smith. One person strangely overlooked in Smith's free market masterpiece, The Wealth of Nations, ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why do some economists consider entrepreneurship to be a factor of production?

    Find out if entrepreneurship should be considered a factor of production in economic models, and whether or not entrepreneurs ... Read Answer >>
  4. How does an entrepreneur pay taxes?

    Find out what kind of impact tax policy can have on entrepreneurship in the United States and why all economic agents have ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

    Discover how successful entrepreneurs succeed through passion, motivation and accepting failure. Learn about the qualities ... Read Answer >>
  6. What risks does an entrepreneur face?

    Find out if you have what it takes to overcome the challenges and risks associated with starting a business and becoming ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Physical Capital

    Physical capital is one of the three main factors of production in economic theory. It consists of manmade goods that assist ...
  2. Reverse Mortgage

    A type of mortgage in which a homeowner can borrow money against the value of his or her home. No repayment of the mortgage ...
  3. Labor Market

    The labor market refers to the supply and demand for labor, in which employees provide the supply and employers the demand. ...
  4. Demand Curve

    The demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity ...
  5. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  6. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
Trading Center