Just when you thought we'd expanded the definition of social entrepreneur to breaking point (with the "Jedward are social entrepreneurs" article), along comes Tony Blair declaring that he, too, is a social entrepreneur. At first, I was merely amused by this (will he apply to come on our programme, or perhaps to be an Echoing Green or Ashoka Fellow; does he qualify for an UnLtd Level 1 award? how did we miss him in the Social Enterprise Ambassadors interviewing? will he apply for the Social Enterprise Mark? etc). But Rod Schwartz has done a more serious, full demolition job on his blog, detailing the reasons why Tony Blair might not quite hit the mark:
– mission / motivation: the financial imperative would still seem to be the most important for our erstwhile former Prime Minister
– lack of entrepreneurialism: though few of us might balk at a £2m retainer from a couple of large financial services organisation, this hardly qualifies as something he initiated where risk and personal responsibility is part of the piece
– focus (or lack of): Blair really has a broad portfolio of activities, rather than a laser-guided focus and commitment to solving one issue
– impact: all social entrepreneurs, ultimately, have to measure themselves by their social impact; my understanding is that his faith foundation has done some good work, but has he really got much done? difficult to tell without greater transparency
Do you think Tony Blair is a social entrepreneur? Look forward to your comments below….