Social Entrepreneurship: Combining Social Causes and Entrepreneurship into One

Individuals with Great ideas can often accomplish what government or large organizations can’t. – David Bornstein, The Rise of Social Entrepreneur.

The Advent of Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship aims at solving social problems by responding to market failures with economically bearable innovations and transformations. Social entrepreneurship has been in existence for many centuries but gained importance a few decades ago.

History has witnessed many social entrepreneurs who brought social innovations in the society. Florence Nightingale, John Durand and Horace Mann can be considered as the essence of this historical social entrepreneurship. In 1960s, John Durand worked for a cause of helping mentally-challenged people; Florence Nightingale in late 1800s transformed the care giving job into a highly regarded profession of nursing and Horace Man worked keenly on transforming the public education also in late 1800s.

The individual examples of these social innovators brought a social change in the society. They received great appreciation and attention by policy makers, researchers, philanthropists and opinion leaders.

In later 1990s, social entrepreneurship attracted attention from government and the academic world and they began to realize the importance of this subject.

What does a Social Entrepreneur do?

There are times when a society finds itself stuck with some of its issues and is unable to move forward in a significant way. That’s where the work of social entrepreneurs helps the society find solutions to their problems. They focus on the cause of the problem and issues with the previous solutions that failed to find a proper answer for finding a long-term solution.

Social entrepreneurs perceive and assess opportunities differently because their social mission is explicit and significant by not prioritizing wealth. They recognize opportunities to create social values for their clients by tackling social problems and social needs in an innovative manner. Social entrepreneurship is gaining a lot of importance because it focuses on social and economic values for bringing a social change in the society by ethical means.

Read More: Meet Zymal Umer, A 9 Year Old Social Entrepreneur from Pakistan

By engaging themselves in a process of learning, they adopt a mission and serve it by identifying and pursuing new opportunities. They consider themselves accountable for the constituencies served and for the outcomes that are created. Social entrepreneurship addresses the daunting the economic and social problems that an economy faces in today’s world in the flowing ways:

Job Creation:

Social entrepreneurship helps to provide job opportunities to people major segments of a society. They focus on providing these opportunities to individuals who have been unemployed over a long period of time such as disabled, displaced or gender-discriminated women.


They focus on providing new goods and services to greater number of citizens. They aim at addressing societal issues such as illiteracy, ill-health and providing a framework for businesses to achieve success in the pursuit of helping others.

To achieve a more equitable society:

For economic development, it is necessary to maintain an equitable society. It is done by focusing on labor market and providing affordable goods and services to the underprivileged section of the society.

Social Capital:

Social capital focuses on public values and trust; it is needed for reducing poverty and for attaining human as well as economic development. Social entrepreneurs help to build up a network of trust that helps them to get more people involved in financial and human capital to open more forms of social capital.

The Need for Social Entrepreneurship in Pakistan

In a developing country like Pakistan that is facing natural as well as man-made disasters in the form of earthquakes, floods, accidents and terrorism, social entrepreneurship is very much needed.

There is a dire need to incorporate the concept of social entrepreneurship into education and growth sectors. There is no other way to meet the needs of these individuals except to have contributions of social entrepreneurs in the society.

They can provide solutions to complex problems in areas such as education, employment, skill-building and health. They can devise unique solutions to overcome these issues and help to build networks for achievement. They can help people to become independent and contributing participants of the society.

For the societal and economic progress social entrepreneurship can work as a positive force by providing innovation solutions to unmet social needs. In today’s world there is a need to find new avenues towards social improvement and we can do that both within and outside the public sector. Local welfare can be created by the state to bring together education institutions, social, health and employment schemes with a district.

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