Social Entrepreneurship

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When I was a kid, I could have been what people would now call a social entrepreneur or

socialpreneur. A lot of people would have fallen into this category. To help your school or

church or youth group, you may have sold chocolate bars door-to-door. People bought them,

even if they didn't like chocolate; because they knew the money would go to support a

worthy cause. Both the seller and purchaser are examples of social consciousness in action.

Now my own children, bring home their school fundraisers from school and we too buy the

over priced products, not because they are great products, but because it supports their

school, a good cause. Today's socially conscious entrepreneurs,
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In 1994, Time Magazine named

Wendy among the 40 Most Promising Leaders Under 40. Wendy was named one of

America's Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report in 2006. As " Ian Huschle, one of

Wendy Kopp’s first employees said ''I heard a great definition of an entrepreneur yesterday,

as someone who looks at the calculations, sees that they don't add up, and goes forward

anyway, on the conviction that they'll work out. That's what Wendy does.'' Quoted by Ms.

Kopp herself, she said ''I look at where am I going to have the most impact -- if I do this for

three years or if I teach for three years,'' Ms. Kopp, now 33, said when asked why she never

tried the classroom herself. ''I think Teach for America has suffered from the fact that I did

not teach, in a major way. I also think if I had taught, I wouldn't have started Teach for

America.'' The bottom line in summarizing this analysis of social entrepreneurs is that they

recognize a social problem and use their entrepreneurial principles to achieve social change. 3

As John Kenneth Galbraith said, “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in

common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in

their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership." This is exactly what Wendy

Kopp did.


Social entrepreneurship. (2011, February 11). In Wikipedia,The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
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