Social entrepreneurs pioneering social change: Less maverick, more movement?

Posted on December 14, 2010


Most people have to see before they believe, but I think that social entrepreneurs believe, and then they see.”

– Martin Burt, Fundación Paraguaya.

Is social entrepreneurship a contemporary buzzword or a movement which is about to take off massively? Opinions differ as much as the definitions on social entrepreneurship do. Some find that social entrepreneurship merely is a buzzword and that striving for definitions and categorizations within the field of work for social changes is useless, taking focus away from the good there is being done and needs to be done. Others find that the definition and wordings do matter – that it will make the field of entrepreneurial activities for societal problem-solving much stronger; and additionally, represents a platform for the individual change-makers to gain a collective identity. Having the opportunity to identify ones work under the umbrella of social entrepreneurship is argued to bring the social change-makers closer together; “less maverick, more movement,” as Stephan Chambers from Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship puts it, in this short film on social entrepreneurship made by Skoll Foundation. Field experts like Sally Osberg (Skoll Foundation), Jacqueline Novogratz (Acumen Fund), John Elkington (SustainAbility), Bill Drayton (Ashoka), David Bornstein (author of How to Change the World) and more, give their view on social entrepreneurship and the movement they see taking place. They share the belief that social entrepreneurs are going to be profoundly necessary in the coming decade in the light of the social and environmental challenges of our time. Movement or buzzword, time will tell.