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What is Social Entrepreneurship? It's to help or eradicate poverty or to help society/ people?

Definition of Social entrepreneurship in most sites says "innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems", But how does one justify what are most pressing problem. Problem or importance of problem for 'A' person is not same as for 'B' person.

For ex. In Mumbai, there are dabbawala who deliver homemade food to office people, who cannot travel home due to long distance and heavy traffic. These dabbawala take lunch box from person’s home and deliver it to them at office with a six sigma of 99.99.

My question is though this organization is not doing anything for poor people specifically, it is innovative, satisfying basic need of a person. Moreover, 85% of dabbawala are illiterate who are given employment. Is it a social enterprise?

  • Mar 19 2013: I would like to further extend my question:
    What is difference between Social, Green and Sustainable Entrepreneurship?
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    Mar 15 2013: SE is all things to all people ... to Bill and Melinda Gates it is the Homeless ... todays Hobo is their specific "problem" they donate heavily to. These people live the life by choice .. when offered employment on a long term basis they move on to the next free shelter and free food. They have no desire to join society. In order to ease our conscience we feed and cloth them thus enabling their lifestyle. Are we really helping?

    In the case of corporations ... if you examine state laws there is (at least in my state) a requirement that x% will be reinvested into the community. It is a requirement, there is no corporate conscience ... they would prefer this percentage be added to the profit margine.

    Poverty will always exist as it is a relationship between the top and the bottom. As to the help SE provides either society or people .... that is transient .... the variable is that you cannot help those who do not wish to be helped ... and the people who have become generational welfare leaches who have learned to survive without the benefit of any work or effort through the efforts and money of others given either willingly or through government money required by the working class in taxes.

    We put up signs that say do not feed the animals .. they will become dependent on you feeding them.

    We brag that the government now feeds millions on welfare.

    Does anyone else see the irony here?

    I wish you well. Bob.
    • Mar 19 2013: yeah, Its always better to teach how to fish than to give a fish.... I think to impart knowledge, job is way more doing something for society than just giving some clothes or food..
  • Mar 14 2013: I guess most people will think it to be just service industry, but by this I am trying to explore more critical aspect of Social Entrepreneurship, because when I think of this term "Social" - I do not just connect to one class of people, but society as a whole.
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    Mar 14 2013: Social entrepreneurship is motivated by an interest in social change. I think most people would not include services such as those you describe.
    • Mar 14 2013: Hey Fritzie, Would you say revolutionary organizations which are keen to bring social change to be Social Enterprise?
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        Mar 14 2013: I don't think everything individuals or groups do to promote change is what most people would call Social Enterprise.

        If you were to go to organizations that provide funding for social entrepreneurs and social enterprises, you would have to read what the boundaries are that describe projects they are interested in funding.

        I doubt there is any universally accepted set of boundaries for these terms.
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    Mar 14 2013: It is a business enterprise that suits the wants of society. I think that a social enterprise would seek to eliminate poverty by ending the fiscal system that cannot survive without poverty.
    • Mar 14 2013: Hey Grace, can u please elaborate it... How you think social enterprise can end fiscal system?? and how ending of fiscal system eliminate poverty??
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    Mar 14 2013: I would more have called that entrepreneurship in the service sector.