It is possible that you have ever wondered what social entrepreneurship is , and therefore you do not know what factors differentiate a social entrepreneur from any other. The truth is that they all have a common base: innovation and revolutionary ideas. For this reason, we want to tell you what a social entrepreneur is and what defines this type of person. 

What is social entrepreneurship?

To learn more about the characteristics of a social entrepreneur, it is necessary to start by knowing what social entrepreneurship is about.

The concept of social entrepreneurship was coined for the first time in 1980 by Bill Drayton, CEO and founder of  Ashoka , to refer to those innovative initiatives that aimed to generate a scalable social impact following entrepreneurial principles. For its part, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship speaks of a model for social change that combines the mission of serving the most vulnerable populations on the planet together with the principles of entrepreneurship and good practices of the private sector to create a more sustainable world. fair, equitable and sustainable.

The ultimate objective of a social enterprise has to do with generating profit in a social or environmental dimension, which can be through the generation of economic benefit. 

Social entrepreneurs, therefore, are those people who initiate and develop a project of these characteristics, prioritizing social impact over economic benefit. In addition, at UnLimited Spain we like to talk about social impact entrepreneurs to refer to those social entrepreneurs who have business models that are economically sustainable and viable over time in order to maximize their impact. 

Characteristics of social entrepreneurs

We could talk about skills typical of an entrepreneurial profile or personal traits that are common to most of these people. 

Self-confidence is one of the factors that most characterize an ‘entrepreneur’. A person who knows himself is able to discern what his strong points are, but also what his weak points are. This makes it possible for people to rely on others to carry out projects in which ‘they are not so good’, generating support networks. They are also often characterized as having a strong motivation , with a real vision of the future, capabilities and achievement. On the other hand, entrepreneurs also have a great ability to plan and organize, while presenting effective communication. Obviously these are just some of the skills that characterize an entrepreneur, but to this we can add passion, leadership, innovation, resilience, ability to make tough decisions, focus and many other characteristics.

But then, what are the skills or characteristics of a social entrepreneur? All the factors that characterize an entrepreneur are also part of the personality of a social entrepreneur. Of course, to these characteristics we must add other essential values: nonconformity, social responsibility and commitment. 

In other words, we are talking about those people who do not conform to the pre-established because they question reality or because they have personal stories behind them that motivate them to undertake. They seek a commitment to what they do not like about society , doing their work with passion but also with responsibility. Offering solutions to social problems is not always easy. For this reason, adaptation to the context and coherence between the activities and the purpose of the company are always essential to understand the mind of a social entrepreneur and the continuity of their project.  

In any case, there is no fixed definition and even less specific characteristics common to all social entrepreneurs. What is certain for us is that they are agents of change, as they lead solutions to great challenges and contribute to the generation of systemic changes, demonstrating that another way of doing business is possible .

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