The delivering a social benefit, but they

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The third
lens focuses on social context and community. I will be drawing on Austin,
Stevenson & Wei-Skillen’s (2006) distinction between private and social
entrepreneurship to reflect on where I see my future career and entrepreneurial
aspirations. I will look at how the two different forms
of entrepreneurship have been defined in entrepreneurial literature by the
likes of Dees (1998).


Private entrepreneurship refers to
entrepreneurs aiming to create ‘profitable operations resulting in
private gain.’ (Austin, Stevenson &
Wei-Skillern, 2006). Social entrepreneurship
refers to entrepreneurs that to create a business providing a product or
service that will in some way have a positive social effect or benefit. ‘Social
entrepreneurship can include social purpose business ventures, such as
for-profit community development banks, and hybrid organizations mixing
not-for-profit and for-profit elements, such as homeless shelters that start
businesses to train and employ their resident.’ (Dees, 1998). The main goal for social entrepreneurship is to
generate a positive social effect or benefit for the community, rather than individual
benefit or gain. (Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, 2006). This is what
essentially differentiates social and private entrepreneurship.


Social enterprises (which can be for-profit or not-for-profit
businesses) try to achieve certain social goals or objectives by offering their
product or service, to attain ‘financial sustainability independent of
government and other donors.’ (Di Domenico,
Haugh & Tracey, 2010). This means that they ‘share the pursuit of revenue generation with
organizations in the private sector as well as the achievement of social (and
environmental) goals of non-profit organizations.’ (Dees, 1998; Di Domenico, Haugh & Tracey, 2010). I think that as a possible
future entrepreneur looking to set up a business, this shows me the
difficulties that a social enterprise can face as they are not only having to
achieve their goal of delivering a social benefit, but they may also have to
compete against firms that are only focused on profits.

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As mentioned earlier, the main goal of social entrepreneurship is to
deliver some sort of positive social benefit or effect for the community. Conversely, private
entrepreneurship is about establishing a profitable business, which results in
the entrepreneur benefiting by gaining more money. Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern (2006) point out that this distinction is exaggerated and that
private entrepreneurship does in fact benefit society. They argue this by using
the example of ‘new and valuable goods, services, and jobs’ which they believe
‘can have transformative social impacts’ and that these transformations can encourage
or inspire the private entrepreneurs. (Austin, Stevenson &
Wei-Skillern, 2006). This point of view makes a good argument and shows me how
private entrepreneurs can benefit society. It also makes me think more clearly
of where I see my
future career and entrepreneurial aspirations. Learning about how private
entrepreneurship is not only about making profits, but how I could benefit
society as a private entrepreneur. This makes me believe that as a private
entrepreneur I could not only look to benefit society, but also make money at
the same time.


In their research on social entrepreneurship,
Marti & Mair (2006) mention how recently
many well-known entrepreneurs ‘have dedicated substantial resources to
supporting social entrepreneurship’. ‘Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, recently
announced a one million US dollar award for innovative approaches and
breakthrough solutions to effectively improve communities or the world at
large.’ (Marti & Mair, 2006).

Categories: Entrepreneurship


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