What is social entrepreneurship?
Social enterprise is all about using market driven mechanisms to address social problems. It has emerged as a powerful tool for addressing some of the most vexing problems facing the society. A social entrepreneur is the ultimate realist. The social entrepreneur understands that societal needs that could not be fulfilled by the long arm of the government need much more than a compelling business model. Above all else social entrepreneurship requires vision, dedication and involvement of the people. Unlike a traditional business, a social enterprise measures its success in terms of its impact on society and the social capital it has created. The Grameen Bank of Bangladesh (for which its founder Mohammad Yunus received the Nobel Prize) has demonstrated how a viable, scalable business model can bring about positive changes in the lives of millions. Micro credit organizations are only one form of social enterprise. There are others geared towards tackling hunger, child labor, illiteracy and other challenges that are the bane of any society.
Blogs for Social Entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs often find themselves in need of the right platform to discuss the challenges they are facing or to connect with their brethren across the globe. Social networks and online communities can be a great place both to promote your brand and to learn about consumer preferences. We have compiled a list of some of the best social entrepreneur blogs.
Acumen Fund Blog
Acumen fund is a non profit fund geared towards using the entrepreneurial approach to deal with global challenges. The blog is peppered with tit bits from the Acumen fund community from across the world. Interesting ad campaigns, developments in the social sector in third world countries, activities of the different arms of the fund in varied geographies, etc.
Audeamus covers the world of social enterprise and corporate social responsibility. The blog includes stories of successful and struggling social entrepreneurs from all over the world, as well as useful business tips on how to manage your social enterprise.
Change.org’s Social Entrepreneurship Blog
Change.org’s Social Entrepreneurship blog covers everything a wide range of topics about social enterprise and social innovation, such as social investment, corporate social responsibility, startup life, mobile technology, cause marketing, international development, social media, venture capital, microfinance, impact assessment and more. In addition to fantastic content, readers can also start a petition on issues related to social enterprise, or take action by sending a petition.
Eastside Consulting is trying to facilitate social change through social enterprise. They are focused on providing solutions to ‘Third Sector Organizations’. The Eastside Consulting blog is a veritable treasure trove of brainstorming ideas and practical tips for social entrepreneurs. Whether you are looking for thoughts on social finance, scalability of social business, fair-trade, mergers or partnerships you are likely to find some useful information here.
Envision Good is a multimedia communications company with a focus on marketing strategies for small organizations. Their video interviews and blog posts are valuable for those who want to understand the fine points of establishing and running a social venture. Here you can learn from the experiences of some of the leading organizations working to tackle the most vexing problems facing planet earth.
Futureshifters is a community of social entrepreneurs. It was founded by a group of young social entrepreneurs from the youth social enterprise initiative. It helps its members stay connected, share news, stories, ideas, podcasts, and announcements about competitions. Futureshifters has a community blog that enables members to share ideas and experiences. Here you can discuss your ideas with like minded people or find developments across the globe you would like to be a part of.
Mobile Active aims to connect people and organizations trying to use mobile phone technology to bring about meaningful technological change. When it comes to the application of mobile technology Mobile Active can help entrepreneurs reduce their learning curve. The Mobile Active blog can help social entrepreneurs streamline their strategy to provide locally relevant content, discuss relevant issues with others using the same platform and connect with service and content providers.
Next Billion is focused on bringing together a range of people including policy makers and social entrepreneurs to solve world’s problems. It has a team of staff writers and editors who work to give their readers insights on how the work of social entrepreneurs is affecting the people at the bottom of the pyramid.
Nubian Cheetah talks about social entrepreneurship stories from Africa. The stories include those about companies focused on harnessing traditional knowledge, popularizing technology, biodiesel, purified ice, and off grid lighting among others.
School for Social Entrepreneurs
The School for Social Entrepreneurs was founded by Lord Michael Young, himself a serial social entrepreneur. It works out of 6 centers in UK and is a leading organization working in the field of educating and training budding social entrepreneurs. Nick Temple is the policy and communications director at the SSE. SSE has an excellent blog. The resources at the SSE blog range from measuring the impact of social enterprise, valuable quotes, Stories about social entrepreneurs, slide shows, and tips on the future impact of communication on the social enterprise.
Social Enterprise Reporter was started with the aim of bringing stories from the entrepreneurship world to social entrepreneurs particularly to those from North America. The promoters believe that their tools, stories, news, information will help decision makers at social businesses to improve both their financial performance and their social impact.
Social Earth believes strongly in the importance of social enterprise. It is geared towards promoting social businesses. The organizations covered by Social Earth are involved in a wide range of businesses with one thing in common — a profit motive and a desire to bring about meaningful change.
Social Edge is a program of the Skoll Foundation. The blog is a veritable storehouse of experiences of social entrepreneurs all over the world and practical tips and tricks that one can put to good use. The content here is authored by social entrepreneurs and there are valuable interviews with leading social entrepreneurs.
Social Entrepreneurship @ work
Social Entrepreneurship @Work is excellent resource for social entrepreneurs of all shades. Whatever you are looking for fundraising, the power of ideas, using technology and social media you will find some quality resources at the blog. Twitter for social enterprise, social entrepreneur pod casts, discussion on source of funds, social capital, and educational documents are some of the salient features of the blog. It also has valuable links to interesting resources.
Social Enterprise Blog
Rolfe Larson hosts the Social Enterprise Blog from the Free Management Library. Free management library has been striving to provide free resources since 1995. Resources at the blog range from venture capital philanthropy, cause related marketing and earned income generation. On average new knowledge articles are added to the blog twice every week. The blog is focused on social enterprise and tries to disseminate practical tips.
Social ROI is a blog about how social entrepreneurship is making this world a better place. The blog covers a wide range of topics, from iPhone apps that help social entrepreneurs to twitter campaigns for social causes, as well as updates on international programs and social impact investing. Social ROI also invites social entrepreneurs who are facing a unique problems to contact them for advice and help.
Spare change is a social marketing blog by Nedra Weinreich, a consultant who specializes in using social media to promote health and social issues for nonprofits and government agencies. Her blog is a great resource for nonprofits, NGOs, and social entrepreneurs who need marketing tips that will help them maximize the reach and social impact of their message. The author has also done a lot of legwork for social entrepreneurs by searching for and connecting to other good social entrepreneur blogs.
The Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog
Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is a source of information, case studies and expert analysis for social entrepreneurs and business leaders alike. SSIR aims to help social entrepreneurs do their job better. The SSIR blog is a synthesis of the deepest beliefs and critical observations of people connected with social change.
The Social Business Blog
The Social Business Blog bills itself as “the most influential social business blog” in United Kingdom. Rob Greenland maintains the blog. Rob has been associated with social business since 1997 and has conducted several training sessions and workshops for businesses. His experience with social business is reflected in this excellent blog for social entrepreneurs. The topics on the blog range from social enterprise opportunities in garbage management to the social innovation lab hosted by Danone.
Trailblazers for Good
Trailblazers for Good is part of Care2’s network of cause blogs, and focuses on the people and ideas making a difference in the world today, with an emphasis on social entrepreneurs and non-profit innovators. In addition to regular posts by featured writers, the blog also offers a Digg-like community powered news feature focusing on social entrepreneur and nonprofit sector news.
What is a BOPreneur?
What is a BOPreneur? Discusses the opportunities and challenges facing social businesses trying to serve people at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP). Authored by Paul Hudnut a faculty at Colorado State University and a self-confessed educational arsonist, the blog discusses tips for elevator pitches, venture capital investment in BOP business and innovations leading to low cost solutions for the poorest of the poor.
Do you have a favorite social enterprise blog? Please let us know in the comments below and we’ll be happy to add it to this list.