Home > Uncategorized > Can Social Entrepreneurship be taught?

Can Social Entrepreneurship be taught?

OK. I am biased on this one, being in charge of the Academy’s academic programmes in the first instance, and having taught entrepreneurship (commercial and social) for over half a decade I suppose I would be. But there is still an attitude out there that you can’t teach entrepreneurship. Yes, there are definitely people who are ‘born’ with some kind of entrepreneurship gene or at least get it through some form of nature/nurture mix. Yet I think, based on experience, that one can excite people enough, and show them the potential that they have, to start thinking about being entrepreneurs. Or at least thinking entrepreneurially.  The same goes for social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

The drive and passion for commercial entrepreneurship is similar to social entrepreneurship. And drive and passion are at the core. The need for capital is the same, the need for a great management team is the same, the need for scaleable and sustainable models is the same. And the need for passion is the same.

I would like to think that I have helped, over the years, to ignite this inherent desire in many people to do something different. And in the world of social entrepreneurship the passion runs deep. Yes, it can be negative. We probably have a bigger issue with ‘founder syndrome’ than in the commercial sector, as founders in the for-profit sector who don’t make the cut generally get cut out (I know that is brutal, but the start-up has to be the focus not the founder in this instance). In the social sector, it is more likely that the founder is in place years after the start-up begins. This is beginning to change with the introduction of social venture capital into the equation.

We need more social entrepreneurship programmes. And not just as a module in a Masters in a University. We need to spread the word and let those potential entrepreneurs feel the passion.

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