Social Entrepreneurship

Picking up on a theme that Charles Leadbeater described on Thursday I’ve been exploring the concept of
social entrepreneurship

A social entrepreneur is someone who works in an entrepreneurial manner, but for public or social benefit, rather than to make money. Social entrepreneurs may work in ethical businesses, governmental or public bodies, quangos, or the voluntary and community sector.

While entrepreneurs in the business sector identify untapped commercial markets, and gather together the resources to break into those markets for profit, social entrepreneurs use the same skills to different effect. For social entrepreneurs, untapped markets are people or communities in need, who haven't been reached by other initiatives.

But while they may read from a different bottom line, social and business entrepreneurs have a lot in common. They build something out of nothing. They are ambitious to achieve. They marshal resources – sometimes from the unlikeliest places – to meet their needs. They are constantly creative. And they are not afraid to make mistakes.

I was fascinated to read that one of my heroes John Muir – an ex-pupil of DunbarGrammar School is regarded as a leading social entrepreneur.

Found a great article by Howard Gardener on
“Are Social Entrepreneurs the new leaders?”

The more a read about social entrepreneurship the more I thought what a liberating model for school leadership. I can’t think of a better definition of what school leaders are trying to do.

Another more academic
article on social entrepreneurship