Social entrepreneurs are ordinary entrepreneurs with a mission. They seek to address the problems of the society, provide empowerment to the marginalized sectors of the society while making a profit so they can continue living without impoverishing themselves. In certain circumstances, social entrepreneurs work on a for-profit business while doing a foundation or a non-profit at the same time. But still, the intent is the same, solve a social problem and be sustainable.
Here are the top five traits of a social entrepreneur.
Creativity. He or she thinks inside and outside of the box. He turns a problem over and over until a solution presents itself and he can implement such changes. Creativity is what drives him to try unconventional ways to solve a problem or approach it from a different perspective. Through creativity, he can also make sure that the problems he solves does not create additional problems.
Innovation. Innovation is the direct offspring of creativity. A social entrepreneur takes a look at the tried and tested ways of doing things. Challenges the assumptions and the status quo and introduces significant innovations that could make a difference. He works at honing the innovations and then making sure that it can be translated into a practical solution to social problems.
Persistence. Thomas Edison once said that genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. The same is true for the social entrepreneur. If he cannot find a solution at first, he keeps looking and keeps innovating until he finds it. He then uses the lessons he learned along the way to perfect the product that he comes up with.
Leadership. It is not a one-man show. That is why the social entrepreneur knows how to enlist the help of others for his crusade. He knows how to excite people for his ideas and tells them how to pursue it. If opposition and discouragement knocks at his door, he does not let them take him down. Instead, he continues to search for people who will help him pursue his vision.
He also looks for a mentor that can hold him accountable for his actions and the achievement of his dreams and his vision. He also looks for the right people to help him out and implement his vision.
Concern for others. This is perhaps the number one qualification of the social entrepreneur. He should have a concern for others. All his efforts are geared towards helping other people-whether in getting out of poverty or in empowering them politically and economically, he works relentless for the social good.
Do you have what it takes to be a social entrepreneur?