The concept of social entrepreneurship has been variously referred to as philanthropy, altruism, charity and fund-raising. It is based on a perceived specific social need or injustice which is recognized by a group or individual who makes a concerted effort to solve it, usually through some sort of monetary contribution. The goal, then, is to raise not only funds, but consciousness, and efforts such as Band Aid, which was orchestrated and arranged entirely by Sir Bob Geldof who is now considered a social entrepreneur, played a large part in raising awareness of social needs beyond the boundaries of the United States.
The buzz word of today is social entrepreneurism, and it revolves generally around an individual who recognizes that there exists a great social injustice and need, who is disappointed at the inertia of government to solve those ills, and makes every effort to solve those problems himself. The individual essentially acts as an agent for change, and works to solve the problem from its root source, as opposed to providing the funding form someone else to do it.
The social entrepreneur derives no personal benefit from his/her activities; any revenue generated is cycled back through the foundation, organization or non-profit agency that was established to benefit the society. In some instances, the social entrepreneur is disenchanted with the apathy, inertia and bureaucracy of the regular governmental channels that are supposed to be in place to help ease the needs and wants of a society, and steps in to fill that void.
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Characteristically, the social entrepreneur may take an innovative approach to solve the societal problem, and enlist the assistance of local cooperatives, which will ultimately benefit from change. The goal of the social entrepreneur is committed to creating changes that will not only make immediate, small-scale improvements, but provide long-term and sustainable changes.