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Social Entrepreneurship: What is it and examples

What is social entrepreneurship?

A loose definition for social entrepreneurship is using innovative and equitable solutions to society’s most pressing social, cultural, or environmental challenges. Social entrepreneurs aim not only to advance the capacities of communities but also enhance them so that people living at each respective level can work together towards achieving long-term systemic change that benefits all levels equally—a more just common good!

Social Entrepreneurs are driven by a passion for social justice and equality. This often leads them to found non-profit organizations that develop capacities in the areas of poverty relief or environmental stewardship, among others 

Nonprofits can be defined as “a company or organization whose goal is developing its purpose.” In this blog post, we will discuss some examples of different types of Social entrepreneurship as well as discuss the 5 qualities you need to succeed as a social entrepreneur.

Social entrepreneurship examples,  ” doing business” for a social cause

There are many different types of social innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, but some common examples include:

  • Starting and growing a new nonprofit organization; joining an existing nonprofit.
  • Creating a social enterprise (a business with a social focus)
  • Using an existing for-profit company to pursue social goals

If you work in the nonprofit sector or have thought about it, you need to be committed. After all, it is a challenging career choice. Creating programming that draws in like-minded people to help pursue your mission is an intense endeavor. In today’s climate of being always connected, it takes more innovation than before to keep your audience engaged and to continue pursuing your social justice goals. 

 two diverse women standing in front of an innovation signNonprofits have to become more adept at considering their passion as a business and devising new ways to raise awareness and engage partners who may want to assist by volunteering or have the means to support their mission financially. Thinking like a social entrepreneur is one way to increase awareness and purpose for your nonprofit. Some social entrepreneurs have defined social entrepreneurship as the application of entrepreneurial thinking to social good.

There are many different types of social entrepreneurs, each with its own unique approach to creating social change. Some of the most common types include:


Community builders

These social entrepreneurs focus on building and strengthening communities by creating or supporting programs and services that promote social and economic inclusion.

Environmental activists

These social entrepreneurs work to protect the environment and address issues such as climate change, pollution, and deforestation.

Humanitarian relief workers

These social entrepreneurs provide aid and support to victims of natural disasters or conflict zones.

Health care providers

These social entrepreneurs work to improve access to health care for all people, regardless of income or location.

Educational reformers

These social entrepreneurs work to improve education for all, with a focus on marginalized communities.

Economic development professionals

These social entrepreneurs work to create opportunities for economic advancement in impoverished communities.

Each of these social entrepreneurship types has its own unique challenges and rewards. Community builders, for example, often face the challenge of building sustainable programs that can be maintained over the long term. Environmental activists may encounter opposition from political and corporate interests. Humanitarian relief workers may put their own safety at risk in order to help others. And so on.

Despite the challenges, social entrepreneurs are driven by their passion to create social change and make the world a better place. They are constantly finding new ways to address the most pressing social issues of our time

Social entrepreneurship is also known for its focus on innovation and building solutions that contribute towards social change, through business practices applied in a non-traditional way. 

The main goal is social impact rather than income generation. This type of social entrepreneur has been grounded in the philosophy that sustainable development comes when all sectors work together with a shared responsibility toward society’s challenges without neglecting just practices. Some examples include:


Ashoka’s mission is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, with a focus on helping those at the bottom of society. They do this through their $100M invention fund as well as other initiatives like mentorship programs for entrepreneurs who want change in an industry or geographic region.”

Grameen Bank 

In this day and age, few things are more important than access to finance. That’s why Grameen Bank (GB) was created – with their innovative mobile-telephone based system for micro-lending they were able not just give credit Wherever possible in remote villages of Bangladesh where banks had previously been unable or unwilling to establish themselves


2.7 billion people worldwide do not have access to eyewear which can lead them down a path where they are unable to succeed both personally and professionally due in part to an inability to see clearly. VisionSpring’s mission is to provide eyewear to disadvantaged people who cannot afford glasses.

PlayPump International

The incredible issue of water scarcity has been a major concern for many years. It’s no secret that various kinds of hand pumps exist, but there is also no avoiding the fact Africa is literally strewn with broken ones left by communities who lack financial means or expertise in repairing them. A company called ‘Roundabout Water Solutions’ was created specifically to provide long-lasting drinking water as well as sustainable solutions without compromising on quality.

Social entrepreneurs use business practices to create opportunities that go beyond traditional nonprofits. They combat social problems sustainably and equitably. Doing this can bring about systemic change and bring the world closer together. There are many organizations out there fighting the good fight and bringing about social change. What is your mission? Let us know in the comments.