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Articles by C.J. Hayden

Social Entrepreneurship: Where Business and Social Change Meet

There’s a quiet revolution going on in the world of business. A 2005 survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that 81% of business executives believe that “corporate citizenship” should be a priority, and 75% report their businesses are actively involved in bettering their communities. In a 2006 survey of MBA students by Net Impact, 81% thought businesses should work toward the betterment of society. Read more

If You Can’t Make a Living, How Can You Make a Difference?

…not all of us who set out to help others through our businesses succeed at it. In fact, many of the best-intentioned professionals fail at building a sustainable business or private practice. It seems that the skills and mindset of helping others don’t always match those needed to build a profitable business. Read more

Not Exactly Business As Usual

When a tragedy strikes, I hear people asking many things, of themselves and others. “How can I help?” is one common question. “What will this economic downturn mean for my business?” is another. I also hear people asking, “Is what I am doing really meaningful? After all, if I don’t know that I’ll be alive tomorrow, is this work where I truly want so many of my waking hours to be spent?” Read more

You Can’t Learn to Fish Without Water: Building a Culture that Supports Women Entrepreneurs

Supporting entrepreneurship in the developing world has long been considered one of the best approaches to “teach people to fish” and build sustainable local economies. In recent years, studies by the United Nations, World Bank, and others have shown that women entrepreneurs are more likely to contribute to community development than men, and are therefore better candidates for support programs. Read more

Coaching Social Entrepreneurs: Changing the World One Client at a Time

There’s a revolution going on right under your nose. A new sector of the economy is employing 40 million people worldwide, and engaging 200 million more as volunteers. Instead of focusing on a profitable bottom line, the enterprises in this new arena are choosing to pursue a “triple bottom line” of people, planet, and profits. The leaders of this movement are called social entrepreneurs, and you can coach them. Read more



Social Entrepreneurship Glossary

Social business – A for-profit business established for the primary purpose of fulfilling a social mission. Social businesses either dedicate a significant percentage of profits to a social cause (e.g., an online bookstore that funds literacy programs), or the business operations themselves address a social issue (e.g., a company that recycles garbage into housewares and accessories). The key difference between a social business and a traditional business is its reason for existence. A social business is formed primarily to solve a social problem rather than to generate income for its owners. Also called a not-just-for-profit (NJFP) business or social sector business, a social business pursues a double bottom line, seeking both financial and social returns.

Social enterprise – An income-earning venture with a social agenda that holds a higher priority than maximizing profits. Social enterprises can be nonprofit or for-profit. They include nonprofit organizations that derive a substantial portion of their income from selling products and services, businesses that dedicate a significant percentage of their profits to social causes, or projects that commit profits to social purposes which are operated by an otherwise traditional nonprofit or business. Profits from the enterprise may be used to further a social cause (e.g., a thrift store that funds an animal shelter), or the enterprise may achieve its social purpose directly through its operations (e.g., a restaurant that employs at-risk youth, teaching them job skills).

Social entrepreneurship – Using entrepreneurial principles to create positive social change. Social entrepreneurs launch innovative or pattern-breaking ventures in either the nonprofit or for-profit sector, and create replicable systems that they or others can use to expand their impact. Some social entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs in the classic sense: they launch ventures that generate income through the sale of products and services (e.g., a bank that offers collateral-free microloans to the poor, charging interest to fund operations). Others operate ventures that do not earn income, but are entrepreneurial in their design (e.g., schools for homeless children in train stations, a model which can expand to other cities and countries).