Understanding the Often Surprising Scope of Social Entrepreneurship

The strengths and weaknesses of social entrepreneurship concept are completely based on the way we want to see it, since its applications receive little contributions from almost all the following sectors – public, private and non-profit. A hybrid commonly found in not for profit organizations that have an entrepreneurial wing, which aims to generate revenue to meet its social objectives. A hybrid model based on the for-profit private sector is seeing an emergence where businesses lend expertise and money to non-profits. This second hybrid model can be attributed as a result of public pressure, under which profit-making businesses display an act of social responsibility.

Strategic philanthropy has been recognized as the most desirable and realistic mode for any business to demonstrate its social responsibility. This approach directs the business to lend in areas that are directly linked, to the interests of the company. The fields of social entrepreneurship could also include spheres where the company could claim a direct stake in, while having its knowledge. The term is a clear indication of the financial returns promised by the philanthropic investment. The fact that traditional philanthropy lacks in providing a tangible return lends less rationality to it in making respectable business sense. The consideration of present day types of philanthropy in a refined way reveals that visionary and highly propelling business leaders could create new dimensions in community ventures by bringing the networks of organizations closer.

Similar to strategic philanthropy, social entrepreneurship is also a blend of two completely opposite concepts that even if they do not fit well together, are accepted as common sense. The fact that these concepts do not fit naturally that it is quite open to receive challenge and opposition. The challenges range over different renderings of the joining of the terms, which could also be in the form of denial of their use together. Language has played a crucial role in shifting the rationale of the associated concept. This could be attributed to the fact that acceptance of discourse precedes that of the material. Hence, there has been growth of terms that were earlier limited to the scope of business sector, like ‘social return on investment’, ‘social venture capital’, the use of the term ‘invest’ in place of ‘donate’, ‘client group’ and ‘revenue streams’ finding application in the social sectors. There is no doubt that with the advent of business language into the social sector, the existing barriers in social entrepreneurship will also start breaking down in due course of time.