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July 24, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Defining Social Entrepreneurship

Here are additional responses to the following question from Jim Harrity:

“I am looking for some theoretical sources, books, articles, etc. on how we classify Social Enterprises. For instance, If starbucks sold coffee and all proceeds went to social initiatives are they a social enterprise? Or Salvation Army has a business selling clothes but proceeds fund social initiatives and puts people to work who need jobs. Or, some social initiatives are the funding source such as selling low cost eyeglasses to impoverished villagers. Any leads on sources?”

First, though, be sure to review the earlier response from Kevin Lynch, CEO of the Social Enterprise Alliance, on this topic.

He provides the clearest, most useful definition of social enterprise as it is commonly used by experts in the field (in the US). In this posting, he also offers a link to download an SEA position paper on social enterprise and an excerpt on this topic from his excellent book, Mission, Inc.

We highly recommend bookmarking the SEA definition, and downloading that position paper and excerpt. I keep both very handy as I do my social enterprise work, and refer to them often.

(1) From Sylvia Scott

These will be of help to you Jim: Greg Dees and Jed Emerson are gurus in the area: (Stanford Center for Innovation)

Social Entrepreneurship Toolkit:

Duke’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship:

Greg Dees: The meaning of social ent:

Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs: Enhancing the Performance of Your Enterprising Nonprofit

• Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs by J. Gregory Dees and Jed Emerson
• Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know by David Bornstein

There is more however I think between Greg Dees, Jed Emerson and David Bornstein; you will have plenty of resources along with CASE and Stanford Center for Innovation

(2) From Pradeep

Hope this helps:

(3) From Alex Stobart

In Scotland, UK the Social Enterprise Academy produced this useful guide:

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