The rise (and prize) of the social entrepreneur

Heading off to the Skoll Forum this morning, but just wanted to quickly point to Charlie Leadbeater’s article about social entrepreneurship in the Observer this weekend. Couldn’t agree more really, and it’s interesting to read vis-a-vis the discussion about definition and scale in the preceding post. Here’s some of the key points:

– "Critics complain social entrepreneurship is a vague idea. But the
reason it has grown is because it is so plastic, ambiguous and

– "Entrepreneurship usually comes from teams, not heroic individuals.
Social entrepreneurs thrive on interdependence, learning and borrowing
resources from the public and private sectors."
(SSE works through peer learning and a cohort of practitioners; see my rebuttal of the "heroic individual" critique)

– "The biggest challenge facing the social sector is how to scale up its
impact. Too many social entrepreneurs are still running inspiring but
small schemes."

– "Social entrepreneurship will come from many more sources. It needs to
become a mass activity, not just the domain of inspirational mavericks"

Spot on, really, and gives an interesting overview of how social entrepreneurship has developed in different countries and continents at the start of the piece. The two final points are the key for me really: how do we increase the impact of the sector, and how do we make it a mass movement….I’ll be looking for some answers (and trying to give some!) at the Forum in Oxford.

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One thought on “The rise (and prize) of the social entrepreneur

  1. Mainstreaming of the mavericks

    The Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship starts today. Charles Leadbeater, a visiting fellow at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, and author of The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur, wrote a very good article in this week’s Observer. …