What Is Social Entrepreneurship?

Mother Teresa worked tirelessly to address extreme poverty with the Missionaries of Charity. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for equal rights for all Americans alongside the other founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Andrew Carnegie spurred the creation of the modern public library. Henry Ford chose to pay his workers enough to be able to buy one of the cars they produced.

Without question, each of these leaders had enormous impact on the world. But were they social entrepreneurs? Calling them by this name, as some might be inclined to do, is based on a desire to validate important work leading to real and significant social benefits. While such an impulse is understandable, it ...

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