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. Ethical Investing

    Using one's ethical principles as the main filter for securities ...
  2. Social Responsibility

    The idea that a company should embrace its social responsibilities ...
  3. Socially Responsible Investment ...

    Socially responsible investing looks for investments that are ...
  4. Corporate Social Responsibility

    Corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the ...
  5. Social Identity

    A company's image as derived from its relationships. An organization's ...
  6. Intangible Asset

    An asset that is not physical in nature. Corporate intellectual ...
Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Social Finance Careers: Creating A Better World

    A financial career can be used to do more than just bring in profits. Find out how to get a career with a more social objective.
  2. Personal Finance

    Go Green With Socially Responsible Investing

    Find out how morals and ethics can bring you a surprising return.
  3. Options & Futures

    Extreme Socially Responsible Investing

    Make your money work for you without putting it into ventures that don't support your values.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Socially (Ir)responsible Mutual Funds

    Not concerned about being an ethical investor? Maybe "sinful stocks" have a place in your portfolio.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

    It is possible to avoid unethical investments and still profit from mutual funds. Find out how!
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Socially Responsible Stocks: Do Good Deeds Punish Profits?

    Socially responsible investing doesn't mean accepting lower returns. Find out why squeaky-clean stocks shine as investments.
  7. Options & Futures

    Socially Responsible Investing Vs. Sin Stocks

    Can your principles make you richer or poorer? Find out if it pays pick your portfolio based on ethics.
  8. Your Practice

    How Boomer Advisors Can Groom Successors

    Boomer business owners need to start thinking about an exit strategy if they haven't yet done so. Here are some tips on grooming successors.
  9. 4 Best Podcasts for Business Leaders

    With less time on our hands than ever, it's important we learn from the tried and true and take advantage of these informative and motivational podcasts.
  10. Your Practice

    Planners: New DoL Rule Won't Require Much Change

    Financial experts are all atwitter about what to expect with the DoL's new fiduciary bill. As of now, here's what planners can expect to see with the bill.
RELATED FAQS
  1. I am starting a limited liability company (LLC). I will be the sole member. Can I ...

    In a word, yes. A limited liability company (LLC) is eligible to establish a simplified employee pension (SEP). Keep in mind ... Read Answer >>
  2. What do real estate investors look for in a property?

    Profit from real estate investments by either flipping homes or becoming a landlord. Learn best practices for a successful ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are some of the disadvantages to taking venture capital?

    Learn how financing a business through venture capital can be a viable source of funding for small businesses but know caveats ... Read Answer >>
  4. What's the difference between limited liability partnership and general partnership?

    Learn the differences between general partnerships and limited liability partnerships; each type has unique traits, benefits ... Read Answer >>
  5. Do working capital funds expire?

    Find out how and why a company's working capital can change over time, though the fund does not actually expire, and how ... Read Answer >>
  6. How does escheatment impact a company?

    Find out how escheatment can impact a company's bottom line, including what kinds of assets are at risk and what the penalties ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed ...
  2. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications ...

    A member-owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members. Established in 1973, the ...
  3. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - GAAP

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures that companies use to compile their financial statements. ...
  4. DuPont Analysis

    A method of performance measurement that was started by the DuPont Corporation in the 1920s. With this method, assets are ...
  5. Call Option

    An agreement that gives an investor the right (but not the obligation) to buy a stock, bond, commodity, or other instrument ...
  6. Economies Of Scale

    Economies of scale is the cost advantage that arises with increased output of a product. Economies of scale arise because ...
Trading Center