ABSTRACT

Social entrepreneurs have been around for decades but are gaining prominence like never before. They are visionaries who create social enterprises to change the world that are innovative, sustainable, and scalable. This chapter describes the characteristics of social entrepreneurs and the organizations and educational programs that have grown up to support them. Social entrepreneurs start organizations called social enterprises. In the words of David Pérez, “Social enterprises are organizations that address a basic unmet need or solve a social or environmental problem through a market-driven approach.” Social enterprises are both mission-driven and business-savvy, attempting to integrate social and commercial activities sustainably. This chapter explores the various business models for social enterprises: non-profit structures, for-profit structures, and hybrid structures. It offers guidelines to help social entrepreneurs decide which structure to choose and gives examples of each.