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Video - an interview with College of Business Dean Terri Friel

Social Entrepreneurship

All entrepreneurs are committed to creating value, for social entrepreneurs value creation encompasses not simply economic value but also social or public value, their overarching purpose being to make a significant social contribution.

Africa painted on face of a young person

We have several new programs and courses to support the growing interest in Social Entrepreneurship:

As many social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders have adopted and adapted tools and techniques from the world of business, the lines that have traditionally divided the business and nonprofit sectors have blurred. These developments have created an attractive opportunity for individuals with business skills to make a significant contribution to shaping the “new” social sector. However, pursuing this opportunity is not easy. The social sector is different from the business sector in several fundamental ways. When a leader’s primary objective is to catalyze social impact rather than to accumulate profits, that objective affects how the leader assesses opportunities, mobilizes resources, structures the organization, markets its products or services, and considers expansion.

The field of social entrepreneurship is at a formative stage. It is rich with opportunities for learning, innovation, service, and impact.



"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business" -- Henry Ford


Social entrepreneurship... What is behind this phenomenon? In part the growth of social entrepreneurship reflects an increasing recognition of the limits of capitalism. There’s only so much that business – small and large – can do to create jobs, wealth and the prosperity needed to meet the needs of the population and the global challenges we face. It reflects too a growing realization that there is a limit to what governments can do in terms of providing services such as health, education and housing.

Just as entrepreneurship is rooted in a sense of opportunity so too social entrepreneurship is rooted in a sense that the limits of capitalism, combined with the limits of government, is creating both a new set of needs as well as new, innovative opportunities for meeting those needs. Needs that are best met by social entrepreneurs committed to starting and building organizations that have a demonstrable commitment to creating social as distinct from purely economic value; organizations that make a difference to the communities and societies from which they spring. Over the next decade this is a revolution that will transform many of the institutions of our society and re-define our understanding of entrepreneurship.


Great Links and Resources

Inspirational Viewing

Dynamic Links

Great Reads

  • The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits by C. K. Prahalnd, Wharton School Publishing, 2010 edition, ISBN: 9780137009275