The Social Entrepreneur

The Social Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs start businesses for many different reasons. Some do it because they want to be their own boss. Some do so because that want greater control of the decisions that are made about them at work; and some it for social reasons. In article, you’ll learn about the social entrepreneur, and how that motivation could help you to support your favorite cause.

A social entrepreneur is someone who starts a business primarily to solve or lessen a problem in society. The combination of capitalism and socialism makes it an interesting hybrid. One the one hand, it has to make a profit; but on the other those profits are used largely to support a cause that the entrepreneur believes in,

Both Body Shop, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Celestial Seasonings were started for social reasons. Anita Roddick, the founder of Body Shop, created the company in order to provide a range of cosmetics, soaps, and other cleansers without using animal testing. Ben & Jerry started making and selling their own ice cream our of a dilapidated gas (petrol) station using secondhand, refurbished, and non-traditional materials. Soon afterwards, they began a summer movie festival, projecting the films off the side of their store. And Celestial Seasonings was started by a group of “hippies” in the late 1960s in Boulder, Colorado. They believed that it was possible to make flavorful teas that used all natural products, and that would be a healthier alternative for consumers.

All of these businesses have become remarkable successes in their own right; but each was started because their founders wanted to contribute to the societies in which they lived.

Maybe you’ve thought about starting a business of your own, but haven’t been able to justify the idea of making money. For the diehard business people reading this, that may sound crazy; but for those who want to improve people’s lives, the idea isn’t so farfetched.

It might be worth it to spend some time thinking about a social need, either in your own town or on the other side of the world. If money was no object, which one would you support? The Newman’s Own brand, founded by Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward, contributes all of its profits to charity, after paying its expenses.

There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do the same. If you do, then you may find that you’re more committed to the success of the business than you would have been if you were just in it for the money.

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