2.3 The difference between an entrepreneur and a social entrepreneur
Assessing the difference between an entrepreneur and a social entrepreneur, an interesting view comes from J. Gregory Dees (2001):
“Social entrepreneurs are one species in the genus entrepreneur. They are entrepreneurs with a social mission.”
Thus, a social enterprise is characterized by its hybridity in that it combines social welfare and business logics (Doherty, Haugh, & Lyon, 2014).
Entrepreneurs are people who create enterprises across all business sectors primarily with intent of generating profit. Ideally and based on particular legislation that their ventures are subject to, they should be also socially responsible and have the obligation of contributing to the well-being of the society in which they operate; however this obligation is secondary.
For social entrepreneurs, the obligation of contribution to social welfare is primary, whereas profit making is secondary but essential to the survival of the social enterprise!
A social entrepreneur is somebody who takes up a pressing social problem and addresses it with an innovative or path breaking solution. Since profit making consists of a secondary objective, therefore they are people who are passionate and determined to contribute to society. They possess a very high level of motivation and are visionaries who aim to bring a positive change. (ManagementStudyGuide.com)
Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur focuses on creating social capital. Thus, the main aim of social entrepreneurs is to meet further social goals.
What is social capital?
Social Capital is a concept that aims at emphasizing the importance of social contacts between groups and within groups. It primarily means that social networks have a value associated and that they are not always detrimental in nature as previously thought of.
The concept of social capital also stresses that social networks lead to increased productivity in individuals, teams and organizations. This increased productivity can be both financial and otherwise. This means that social contacts can lead to increase in confidence, fulfillment by fostering positive relationships. The essence being that just like any other capital form (human, physical, financial) social capital is also important and beneficial to the sustenance of society.