What is the impact of social entrepreneurship on society? It can be large; in 2017, Habitat for Humanity “helped nearly 3.5 million people around the world build or improve an affordable place they can call home”, as they claim in their article online. Or it can be small; a local nonprofit provides a family of four with food for the next month. Either way, social entrepreneurship, otherwise known as impact entrepreneurship, changes lives for the better. The question remains, what is the impact of social entrepreneurship on society as a whole?
The Concept of Social Entrepreneurship
To understand the impact of impact entrepreneurship, it is necessary to first understand the concept. Gregory Dees first defined the term social entrepreneurship as a concept that “combines the passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation, and determination commonly associated with, for instance, the high-tech pioneers of Silicon Valley.” These are folks who think like an Entrepreneur, act like an Entrepreneur, but do so in a manner that creates positive social change. Therefore, social entrepreneurship is business for the betterment of society.
How Does Impact Entrepreneurship Work?
Social Entrepreneurship comes in many forms. The most well-known form is the 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization. These organizations are built to make a positive impact on their communities, and are therefore able to classify under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code, as tax exempt. As the title suggests, nonprofits are not able to claim profits within the organization, and instead need to put all of their money towards their mission (i.e. paying employees, directly helping people in their community, etc.) InnerCity Weightlifting, the organization that we had the pleasure of working with, is a nonprofit organization. They support victims of systemic racism and mass incarceration, to provide them with a new sense of family and a new lease on life. Click here to learn more about the work that we did for ICW.
Interestingly enough, there are ways to create a positive social impact through entrepreneurship, and earn a profit. B Corporations are another special business classification that is geared towards social impact companies. These organizations are not tax exempt, but are able to earn a profit in the pursuit of betterment for society. Bombas is a great example of a B Corporation; for every pair of socks that they sell, they donate a pair to a homeless shelter in the U.S. Then, there are your standard companies (S Corp, LLC, Sole Proprietorship, etc.) that are for profit organizations. Some, not all, are focused on making a positive impact and it may be seen in much of their business processes and products/services. Our two current partners, Primed O.D. and Humanity thru Equity, are great examples of this! Both of these organizations are Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultancies that are LLCs, working for the betterment of their communities. View our services page to learn more about our work with these amazing organizations!
The Impact of Social Entrepreneurship on Society
Social Entrepreneurship is a method of creating a better society through the work of businesses. In America’s capitalist society, this is arguably the best and most effective way to create a positive impact. In our bipartisan government, little is able to be done in order to effectively address many of today’s societal issues. Social issues are generally highly contested by people in our government (i.e. black lives matter movement, Trans rights, paid maternal leave, etc.), and progress is rarely made democratically as a result. That is why change needs to occur through businesses, especially through the companies of social entrepreneurs.
Habitat for Humanity provides homes to the needy. InnerCity Weightlifting provides work and creates a sense of community for those who are effected by societal issues of systemic racism and mass incarceration. Bombas provides socks, the most commonly requested items in shelters, to homeless people. Primed OD and Humanity thru Equity provide DEI consulting services to create a more equitable and inclusive work environment for their clients. They do this so that more and more employees are able to feel comfortable and valued in their work environment.
Each social impact organization provides a different service and supports a different community that is effected by different societal issues. With more and more social impact organizations, the culmination of all of their work contributes to a society that is better for all. THAT is the beauty and impact of social entrepreneurship on society. Many companies, many people working towards the betterment of the World.
GGC: A Business Development Consulting, Social Impact Company
As for us here at Global Grassroots Consulting, we are a business development consultancy that is driven to do good. We work with companies that provide a direct, positive social impact on their communities, by providing them with business development consulting services. Interested to learn how that works? Check out our website for more information!