Importance Of Social Entrepreneurship In Community Development

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY INTODUCTION Poverty, unemployment, and the need for faster economic growth remain key challenges for community development. This is extremely disturbing given the fact that youth unemployment is a worldwide phenomenon (Green, 2008), which calls for more concern. Now, as never before, community developers recognize that Social entrepreneurship is critical to the vitality of the local economy. By defining social entrepreneurship there is a need to unpack the “social” element of the concept. Mari and Marti (2006:44) present the example of three successful cases of entrepreneurship around the globe which are essential for understanding the ‘social’ aspect in social entrepreneurship. These are the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, the Aravind Eye Hospital in India and Sekem in Egypt. These social enterprises reveal a common feature: all three creatively combine resources—resources that often they themselves do not possess—to address a social problem and thereby alter existing social structures. Social entrepreneurship can be viewed as a process of creating value by combining resources in new ways” (Stevenson, Roberts and Grousbeck, 1989, and Schumpeter, 1934, in Mair and Marti, 2005:3). These “resource combinations can be used to exploit opportunities to create social value by stimulating social change” (Alvord, Brown and Letts, 2004, in Mair and Marti, 2005:3) or meeting social needs. From a process perspective, social
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