Boundaries of Social Entrepreneurship

Top entrepreneurs in India

Best business entrepreneurs are the ones who carry out an extraordinary set of activities to maximize profit, thereby associating the concept of entrepreneurship with success and profit. The economic and social progress of a country is intimately intertwined. Funding education, providing health care, and access to clean drinking water for the underprivileged can enhance their quality of life. But these interventions are redundant and unable to alleviate poverty until the poor are empowered through increased economic participation. Famous social entrepreneurs in India like Anand Mahindra, Chairperson of Mahindra and Mahindra, Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv, are supporting the economic engagement of the underprivileged to create a better society through several programs and schemes run by their organizations.

What is Social Entrepreneurship? 

Social entrepreneurship is the process by which entrepreneurs, start-ups, and individuals envision, develop, and fund solutions that create a social impact by directly addressing social issues. The Top entrepreneurs in India focus their business activities on positively impacting their community, society, and eventually the world. 

Mission-driven entrepreneurs can create social value through sustainable, self-sufficient, and financially independent businesses.

The four characteristics are: 

  • They are mission-driven and dedicated to serving the underserved.
  • They act within entrepreneurially oriented companies with a strong culture of openness and innovation.
  • They deliver social value through their financially independent and thriving organizations. The idea is not to give up their business and devote their life to grassroots work but to build a business that can create opportunities for the poor through their financially self-sufficient entities. Creating job opportunities and blending profit-oriented activities with social activities reduce dependency on donations, government grants and help the underprivileged achieve self-sufficiency.
  • They are mission leaders, finance leaders, change agents, opinion leaders, and managers. They are emotionally charged, socially alert, highly accountable visionaries, and this combination of such traits set them apart from the rest.

Boundaries of Social Entrepreneurship 

Social entrepreneurship differs from other mission-driven initiatives that are non-entrepreneurial. While social entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular, the definition has not received a clear consensus and is often confused with other social disciplines. People often misunderstand philanthropists, environmentalists, social activists, and other socially-oriented experts as social entrepreneurs. Thus, it is important to understand the function of social entrepreneurship and distinguish it from other socially-oriented activities while classifying the boundaries of social entrepreneurship operations.

As per the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the characterization of social entrepreneurship should not be extended to social activists, philanthropists, or socially responsible companies. Though these categories 

Social change agents are valued and needed, they do not constitute social entrepreneurship.

Social entrepreneurs function within the limits of the following business strategies:

  1. Non-profit with income strategies: A social initiative executing a mix of commercial and social entrepreneurial activity to become self-sufficient. Here, the profits and revenues generated enhance social value delivery.
  2. For-profit with mission-driven plans: A business that simultaneously performs commercial and social activities to make a social difference while achieving sustainability. Here the social entrepreneur runs an organization that aims at generating profit while bringing about social change. The entrepreneur is financially independent and benefits from the monetary gain while making a social impact. Social entrepreneurship has played a key role in empowering people at the bottom of the pyramid, making them financially independent, and ensuring self-sufficiency. Today’s social entrepreneur is a risk-taker, socially aware, and innovative. By leading their businesses to be profitable and efficiency-driven, they positively change their society. This kind of entrepreneurship is what one wishes to see in the long run, as personal gains further motivate and augment the dedication and drive to bring about social change.

The majority of academicians and economists support the idea that entrepreneurship is key in developing society and the nation. In growing and taking their businesses to new heights, some of the famous social entrepreneurs in India, such as Anand Mahindra, Sanjiv Bajaj, Nitin Kamath, end up increasing employment and giving back to the societies via philanthropic initiatives undertaken by their company foundations. This behavior lives up to Porter’s notion of entrepreneurship (2002). Even though entrepreneurial activities are efficient and innovation-driven, the result will continue to display a reduced unemployment rate, enhanced innovation adoption, and fast-tracked economic structural changes. Thus, social entrepreneurship can be described as a field wherein entrepreneurs customize their goals and objectives to achieve the ultimate vision of creating social value.