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Ayd Asraf

Corporate Senior IT Executive - Release Team, Aramex International

TEDCRED 30+

This conversation is closed.

Which is better social entrepreneurship or business entrepreneurship ? Are all entrepreneurial endeavors truly social at the core?

For social entrepreneurs, the bottom line is to maximize some form of social impact, usually by addressing an urgent need that is being mishandled, over-looked, or ignored by other institutions. For business entrepreneurs, the bottom line may be to maximize profits or shareholder wealth, or to build an ongoing, respected entity that provides value to customers and meaningful work to employees.Some researchers argue that there is little use in making distinctions and that all entrepreneurs should be considered social entrepreneurs because they generate employments and meet needs.

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Closing Statement from Ayd Asraf

I would love to thank everyone whom added to this sweet conversation, it has been very useful and building one, and i guess me and each commenter has something added to his thoughts.

let me sum-up major points here that were added by TED community people whom participated in this debate conversation:

1. Business should always server it's customer, and if not then failure is certainly will happen, there is no big evil theory in business, as long as you provide customers with products they need and purchase it means you are adding some value to the community 7 considered to be "social" in the core.

2. The subjective of terms "better, goals & mission" is something that prevent us from having the final thought about this debate as what looks better from someone's perspective , can be considered evil in other's perspectives.

3. There was some different thoughts about " The fundamental reason for a business is to serve the customer if it does not it does not have sales. All business benefits society."

4. "Business entrepreneurs will - generally - walk miles ahead of their social counterparts because of the efficiency inherent in a profit-oriented enterprise. Like it or not, social entrepreneurship has not come of age yet! "

5."we should take every approach to solve our outstanding problems and take note of the outcomes, eliminating the ones that do not work and transferring all resources to the ones which are making progress. Thus while it appears, that business entrepreneruship is most likely to win the day, we should rather not rely solely on it. Competition to get to the bottom of problems seems like the right path (s)".

6. Finally i would deeply reccomend checking some work done by " Michael Porter", to have a wider look into this, you may follow the following links :
http://www.hbs.edu/centennial/businesssummit/market-capitalism/the-future-of-market-capitalism-panel.html
http://bit.ly/haKReH

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    Jul 26 2012: I think it boils down to how you define social entrepreneurship and most importantly how you define "better." If social entrepreneurship is specifically defined as using "business models to solve social problems," then social entrepreneurship is considered by many better than a pure charity model as it is usually more efficient and self-sustaining. Whether it is better than business entrepreneurship, however, is a different question, because here the definition of better is critical. For example, if making more profits is the core of "better" than usually business entrepreneurship makes more profits and intrinsically should because it's priority is profit-making above all else. That does not mean a business entrepreneurship model cannot benefit society, whether by giving jobs (as you mentioned) or even in a social service or byproduct (for example Starbucks does a lot of social work, but their core model is business not social), but that ultimately, that is not the mission of the company or the fundamental reason it exists, which is to make profits. If by better, you mean helping solve social problems, then not all business entrepreneurship models do that, even if they do give employment. For example, tobacco companies may be huge profit-makers and success business entrepreneurship models, but some may argue they hurt society more than benefit society.
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      Jul 26 2012: you just pointed to very important issue about the subjective of terms being used to defining "better, mission & goals". so accordingly we cannot judge the better as there is no stranded to be comparing against. seems very logical, but do you think that we can put a clear definitions for those considering the diversity, or will this always be a matter of subjective judging that will make such question always unanswered?
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        Jul 27 2012: Of course these questions will go answered, particularly when there is sufficient numerical data to clearly show impact. Qualitative data is harder to measure sometimes, but time will really show where there is true success of social entrepreneurship as a business model. This is still early days.
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      Jul 26 2012: TU

      Regarding your statement:

      "That does not mean a business entrepreneurship model cannot benefit society, whether by giving jobs (as you mentioned) or even in a social service or byproduct (for example Starbucks does a lot of social work, but their core model is business not social), but that ultimately, that is not the mission of the company or the fundamental reason it exists, which is to make profits."

      The fundamental reason for a business is to serve the customer if it does not it does not have sales.
      All business benefits society.
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        Jul 27 2012: Agreed in principle Pat. However, some businesses like strip clubs or tobacco manufacturers are serving specific customers' needs but it could be argued that their business model overall harms society more than benefits (again, this is very subjective).
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          Jul 27 2012: Why should someone be able to tell someone else what he needs or wants?

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