What is a social entrepreneur?
A social entrepreneur is someone who works in an entrepreneurial manner, but for public or social benefit, rather than to make money. Social entrepreneurs may work in ethical businesses, governmental or public bodies, quangos, or the voluntary and community sector.
There is no mould or template for a social entrepreneur, but a diverse range of approaches from people of different ages, backgrounds, gender, interests and expertise. What they share are entrepreneurial skills and characteristics allied to a social mission or purpose.
Is social entrepreneurship the same as social enterprise?
They're certainly related, but they're not the same thing. Social enterprises are typically businesses that measure their success both by how much profit they earn and how much they benefit some part of their community. Some are committed to employing people marginalised by the mainstream job market (such as people with mental health difficulties or criminal records); others are ethical businesses trying to benefit society in general.
Social entrepreneurs were certainly behind the creation of many of these projects; however, they can also be found in the not-for-profit, private and public sectors.
How can our organisation become part of the School for Social Entrepreneurs' Network?
The SSE Network works as a social franchise: local independent, community-led agencies are licensed to create and run programmes with the SSE's help on design, learning and quality. The same characteristics that we seek in our students (engaged with community, entrepreneurial, experienced, committed etc.) are those that we seek in our local and regional partners.
The core services provided to the Network include a quality system, best practice guide, branding (literature + materials), extranet/web, policy work, media and PR, and internal/external evaluation.
You can find out more about joining the SSE network here
What is action learning?
Action learning is an approach to learning which is based on learning-by-doing. It is also often called practical learning. SSE's experience is that entrepreneurs are much more suited to this type of learning, rather than traditional, theoretical learning (taught content in the classroom). You can find more detail, and explanation, on our Approach to Learning page.
Often people confuse it with action learning sets which are a particular method group learning and interaction. Such sets are small groups of individuals who support one another in learning and development in an area where they have an interest and wish to increase their expertise. The SSE uses these as one of the elements of its programme.
Does the School for Social Entrepreneurs have any international centres?
For other countries, the answer is not yet, but it's certainly a possibility, as we believe the methodology and approach is able to be tailored not only to different areas in the UK but also different countries. Do get in touch if you're interested in exploring this further.
There is no School for Social Entrepreneurs in my area. Where do I go?
We have several other schools in development around the UK, so please do get in touch if you are in an area not yet covered. In addition, we may be able to refer you to other organisations providing related services.