Social entrepreneurship is a special form of entrepreneurship that integrates economic and social goals, it is an innovative model for addressing social and environmental challenges and strengthening inclusive growth.
Social entrepreneurship is also defined as the continuous implementation of economic activities under certain conditions of operation and employment of mainly marginalized groups of persons. The primary goal of social entrepreneurship is to strengthen social cohesion and solidarity as well as strengthen the capacity for innovation in various economic sectors and socially beneficial areas. The goal is to generate social value where the community will benefit from entrepreneurial activities.
Features of social enterprises:
• Using entrepreneurial principles, they strive to serve the community, not to maximize profits for owners;
• The realized profit is mostly reinvested for achieving the social goals, ie. for concrete social change;
• Offer innovative approaches to sustainable and balanced development;
• They usually operate in two directions:
• Provide goods and services for marginalized and underdeveloped communities;
• They employ people from vulnerable groups of citizens.
• They are market-oriented businesses, i.e. they provide financial sustainability through successful operation according to market mechanisms (and not mostly grants).
One of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, Muhammad Yunus, uses seven principles on which social enterprises should operate:
– The business goal of the company is to overcome poverty or to ensure the reduction of one and/or more global social challenges such as education, health, access to technology, and environmental protection, which reduce the quality of life of people and society. The purpose of the business is not to maximize profits;
– Business has financial and economic sustainability;
– Investors return only their investment. However, they do not receive a dividend upon return on investment;
– After the return of the investment amount, the profit remains in the company for its promotion and expansion;
– The company works on the principles of gender sensitivity and high environmental awareness;
– The existing workforce receives a salary in accordance with the trend dictated by the market, but with better working conditions; – The entrepreneur works with joy.