• Innovative
  • Applicable


George Soros once said, “Let business be business and philanthropy be philanthropy. Keep the two separate.” And never the twain shall meet. However, even Soros, capitalist businessman and philanthropist extraordinaire, eventually succumbed to seeing the merits of and need for social enterprise. David Bornstein and Susan Davis, two scholars of social innovation, offer a truly inspiring book about the noble, burgeoning field of “social entrepreneurship.” They offer recognition to the countless anonymous individuals who address the world’s most intractable problems, and they dole out useful advice to the “changemakers” who give voices to people who have none. Although this guide may be a tad basic for workers at established social enterprises, getAbstract recommends it as a wonderful source of tips and inspiration to budding social entrepreneurs in all fields who strive to change the world for the better.


What a Few Individuals Can Accomplish

The small group of hijackers who committed the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks showed the world what immense destruction a few focused individuals can accomplish. Conversely, small groups also can do immense good. Across the globe, teams of dedicated individuals are focusing on and solving intractable issues, including hunger, poverty, human rights violations, disease, political corruption and environmental destruction. The members of this “citizen sector” use “powerful ideas and new tools” to address the world’s most daunting problems. They “unleash human potential” by helping people in distress help themselves, allowing them to “live with dignity.”

In the past, people labeled these progressive individuals as “visionaries, humanitarians, philanthropists, reformers, saints or simply great leaders.” Today, “social entrepreneurs” emerge from every walk of life. They found and run “social enterprises,” organizations that use entrepreneurial business techniques to address pressing public issues. A social entrepreneur can be an “intrapreneur,” someone who sparks positive activity within an existing business or organization, or...

About the Authors

David Bornstein is author of How to Change the World and The Price of a Dream. Susan Davis is founding president and CEO of BRAC USA. She also is a founding board member of the Grameen Foundation.

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