Social Entrepreneurship: A Tool for Social Development & Sustainability

Social Entrepreneurship: A Tool for Social Development & Sustainability

The modern economy with the economic development policies it follows, focuses on strengthening competitiveness, ignoring the importance and development of Social Capital, ensuring and Social cohesion resulting in Social Underdevelopment.

 The organizations of the 3rd sector of the economy, produce the main Social work, compared to the conventional non-profit organizations. They get where the state fails. Yet they are excluded from the tools of modern capitalism for development and almost entirely dependent on the state.

Social Business & Social Entrepreneur

 Social enterprises operate as conventional enterprises, with the difference that at the center of their mission is the Social purpose. They have a normal structure, planning, organization, administration, control. They mainly reinvest their profits, create jobs, social reintegration and integration. The mission of these organizations is to make a profit for the viability of their social purpose. The need becomes more apparent in the organizations of the 3rd sector of the Economy (Non-profit), where the question arises:

 “What will happen when the Donations and subsidies end? What will become of those who rely on the organization? “

In companies that are established from the beginning with the model of Social Enterprises, you notice that they do not face difficulties in using the non-profit character for the financing of social purposes. In contrast, existing third-sector organizations that operate and wish to gain financial independence and grow through their transition to the new hybrid model find that they find it difficult to adapt to the mission duality resulting from the integration. of a non-profit nature in the operating rules of the organization.

The social economy has created a new type of entrepreneur. The Social Entrepreneur. It changes the rules of the game, taking advantage of the gaps and tools of Capitalism, aims and fights social problems, generating enough profit to maintain its own and above all its Social Purpose. It tackles unemployment, fights poverty, protects the environment, fills the gaps of the welfare state, gets to where the state fails, ensuring its independence, while managing to make a profit. He creates networks, innovates, collaborates, is a team player, has socio-moral motivation, feels uncomfortable about the status quo and tries to change it. Some now call him the “Hero of Business”.

As Porter & Kramer (2011, pp.62-77) report, in their article in the Harvard Business Review we need to redefine Capitalism and bridge the relationship between entrepreneurship and society and the planet. In the same article he explains that organizations were created to develop active societies, and today they have unfortunately moved away from them.

 Organizations practicing standard Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices are like advocating for accountability, and using the institution as atonement. So instead of spending billions to fight activism, they can turn their eyes & resources to fight the problem. With another perspective, organizations today can invest the funds earmarked for Social Responsibility in strengthening Social Enterprises, focusing on their purpose as a criterion. With this model, organizations are able to select and have measurable effects on the social impact created by the funds allocated to CSR.


-Dees, J. G., (1998). “Enterprising Non Profits”, Harvard Business Review, 76(1), 54-67, US
-European Commission,(2011). “Social Business Initiative – Creating a favourable climate for social enterprises, key stakeholders in the social economy and innovation” -SEC(2011) 1278
-Porter M. E., Kramer., (2011), “Creating Shared Value”, Harvard Business Review, 89, U.S.
-Smith, B. R., Knapp, J, Barr, T. F., Stevens, C. E., Cannatelli, B. L., (2010). ‚ÄěSocial Enterprises and the Timing of Conception: Organizational Identity Tension, Management, and Marketing. Journal of Non Profit & Public Sector Marketing, 22:108-134
-Zafeiropoulou, F.A. & Koufopoulos, D. (2013) “The influence of relational embeddedness on the formation of Social Franchising; An explorative qualitative analyses of four Social Franchises active in the UK from a social network theory perspective” Journal of Marketing Channels, Special Issue, Vol.20, No.1/2, pp.73-89

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