What Exactly Is Social Entrepreneurship?

via NextBillion.net

From Forbes: What Exactly Is Social Entrepreneurship?

My comments: The for-profit and non-profit worlds are merging. For-profits see the monetary advantage of green practices and investing for social benefit. The fair trade market is a good example. Fair sells.

On the flip side, non-profits understand that they must not only be mission-driven, but also be able to demonstrate measurable returns– social returns– on their investments. The key words are impact, scalability, and sustainability.

So when it comes to the social entrepreneur, he’s, well, an entrepreneur like any other– mostly. The gist of it, according to the author of this Forbes piece, is that the social entrepreneur strives to operate by business standards while bringing the dual returns of profit and social outcomes.

Should social entrepreneurs focus on monetary profit as well as doing good? Can they do both well at the same time? What do you think?


Social Media for Social Good Directory

CHA-CHING!!  I just came across the extensive list of resources on Social Media for Social Good compiled by Socialbrite.org and DoSomething.org.

I also recommend Socialbrite’s Sharing Center, “a free learning center for nonprofits and changemakers”.

Do you have a great resource on social media for good? Share it here!

Recommended Reading: Why Nations Fail

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (Mar 20, 2012)

Hot off the press and at the top of my reading list (along with 1/2 dozen others…) is these economists’ view of inequality and poverty on a global scale.

Why are some countries rich while others remain poor?

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Twitter is the new SMS is the new e-mail

Whether you’re a novice or an old salt, online branding and social media tools are constantly changing. It’s daily process and a challenge to keep up with!

It’s good to go back to the basics as things evolve– as with Facebook’s timeline, for example. For a nice introduction to the social media landscape, click on the image to the left. I’m sharing a handful or two of links to tips below.(Maybe it’s just me, but I hate the FB timeline.)

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Comedy is good for community

Austin’s first comedy festival, the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival, is happening this week, 4/25-4/28/12.

It got me asking myself, “How is comedy good for community”? Obviously, it brings people together to laugh about our idiosyncracies and problems and, hopefully, to identify a little better with each other. But there’s so much more….

Here are a few examples: Continue reading

Buy Less, Borrow More

How often do I really use my hammer? Or my blender? Truth is not often. 

Why do I buy all this stuff and stick it in my closets and cupboards anyway? Sooner or later, it all becomes junk. The truth is that consumerism ultimately drives all the waste we generate– in the U.S. that is 230 million tons of solid waste per year, or 4.6 pounds per person per day.

Reduce, reuse, recycle, right? I’d rather use (and spend) less and just borrow the hammer on the rare occasion I have a new picture to hang. And, hopefully, return the favor some day.

All this is to share with you a new venture called OhSoWe which helps local groups share things or knowledge (as in, how to use a thing). I first learned of them  in this article “Sell Less, Share More“.

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The (Pesticide) Circle of Poison. Heard of it?

I was reading today a list of recommended 12 fruits and vegetables to buy organic.  I knew about apples (some of the worst offenders when it comes to being over-sprayed with pesticides), but the item that caught my attention was imported grapes.

I started looking into overseas pesticides.  Have you ever heard of the Circle of Poison? Pesticides like DDT get banned from the U.S., so producers sell it abroad instead. Overseas growers spray the produce and sell it back to the U.S.

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What makes an entrepreneur social?

Social entrepreneur” is a term with many definitions and one that keeps changing. But, in my own words, a social entrepreneur is a leader and someone who innovates to meet a need and solve human and environmental problems.

The Huffington Post has joined the Schwab Foundation to dedicate an entire page to social entrepreneurs. You can check it out, and follow it on Twitter, here:

HuffPost Social Entrepreneurship

One evolving change in the perception of social entrepreneurship has to do with profit. With the advent of social business and social venture capital, a venture can be for profit or nonprofit but in either case there needs to be a social return on investment.

Some continue to feel that social ventures have been traditionally nonprofit and should stay that way. They feel uncomfortable with “making money off of the poor”.

What do you think? Should an entrepreneur with a social venture make money?

Catch the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship TODAY

Sadly, the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, March 28-30, 2012 at the University of Oxford, England,  is by invitation only. Sadly, I won’t be there. But I can live vicariously through the Internet!

Why have a world forum on social entrepreneurship? Because it matters! A lot.  By the way, this link is to Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg’s post on the Huffington Post.  And Ariana Huffington is a featured speaker at the forum this year.



For those of us who can’t be in Oxford, video recordings of select presentations are available online and also in live stream. Here’s the schedule:

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Let’s bring clean water to 100 people! (It’s World Water Day. And it’s my birthday present!)

Water is for the global good!

For my birthday, April 6, I want to get clean water to 100 people. Want to help?

You can give $43 now (my age, ugh!) or anything at all. Hey,  $10 is great.

Go to:  http://mycharitywater.org/theglobalgood

All – 100% – will go to a clean water project like a well or a filtering system. If we reach our big goal of $2000, we will bring clean drinking water to 100 people.  Clean water to drink, and not for one day either. Every day. As they say, “Water changes everything.”




I know it sounds silly, but ever since I read the novel Dune, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of a planet– our planet– without water. I’m a sci-fi fan. When clean drinking water becomes so rare and so precious, what does that look like? Who owns the water?

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