Social Entrepreneurship

This field of entrepreneurship is taking hold and offering a venue for people who wish to solve large social issues using technology as described above or through other means. Essentially, the entrepreneur identifies a large social issue that is currently unmet and develops an affordable solution through social innovation. For example, a Berkeley San Francisco company recycles leather from junkyards and creates affordable leather jackets. Another example is the development of virtual reality googles so that the blind can see and read. In these cases, the entrepreneur sees value in creating a service or product to solve environmental issues and empower communities (ie recycling junk vehicles for other uses) or to serve the less-privileged or unfortunate (ie. Assisted technology so people can see). Many enablers have taken up the challenge and spurred on innovation in this sector:

  • Google
  • Centre for Social Innovation
  • UC Berkeley
  • Harvard University
  • MIT

They have supported this endeavour either through the establishment of Centres, accelerators or challenges where entrepreneurs can discuss and develop their concepts. Google for example has a Google Challenge competition in which they will fund an innovative social endeavour.