Social Entrepreneurship – What it Should Mean For Nonprofits
Social entrepreneurship is a recent term defined as combining entrepreneurial skills with social responsibility. Some social entrepreneurs launch for-profit businesses with the idea of contributing profits to the nonprofits they believe in, some plan to offer discounted goods or services to certain populations.
Many entrepreneurial types prefer to use their skills to take the nonprofit sector by storm with their own organization. Whatever the outlet, social entrepreneurship should have a significant impact on the nonprofit sector over the next decade, both in terms of sustainability and how they get work done.
One of the biggest motivators for people to start their own business is to increase their personal wealth. But the reality is that those who succeed in business have a responsibility to give back to the community that helped them reach their goals, and the new generation of entrepreneurs (25-45) seems to be embracing that responsibility.
Small businesses of all types are looking for ways to manage their impact on the environment, create opportunities for their employees to volunteer, and set aside some portion of their business or profits to do some good.
To that end, the social entrepreneurs who choose to launch new nonprofits are very likely to dramatically alter the landscape of nonprofit leadership.
Though nonprofits inherently demand some level of socially-oriented, consensus-based management, adopting fundamental business leadership tactics can raise the level of expectations both in and out of the organization. There needs to be an air of aggressive commitment to tackling the problem at hand, rather than a wait-and-see, inactive approach to managing the programs.
Employees and volunteers shouldn’t be treated as though they are doing the nonprofit such a huge favor by their mere existence that nothing is really expected of them. Rather, they should be treated as employees in any other type of business, with specific skills sets required and a certain volume and quality of output required.
At the end of the day, a nonprofit corporation is still a business, a must be run as such to succeed. For-profit businesses are undergoing a change as well, so that success depends on getting the edge over the competition by running a tight ship and always looking for innovative ways to compete.
K. MacKillop, a serial entrepreneur with a J.D. From Duke University, is founder of LaunchX and blogs about starting a nonprofit. The LaunchX System Nonprofit Edition is a complete nonprofit startup kit and includes everything you need to start a nonprofit organization including step-by-step instructions, key software, business tools and more! Visit LaunchX.com for resources to start a nonprofit.
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