Social Enterprise: New Business?

Just What is Social Enterprise?

Social enterprise can be challenging to define.  The concept has been evolving rapidly in recent years and increasingly blurs the lines of the traditional business, government and nonprofit sectors. A social enterprise is an organization or initiative that marries the social mission of a non-profit or government program with the market-driven approach of a business.

WHY Social Enterprise? 

One reason for the rise of Social Enterprise is simple – people want change in the world, people want to make a difference – and people want to contribute to a better world with what they do everyday, in their job, in the products and services they buy, in where and how they get their energy. Trends in global discourse on life and business now include words like empathy and mindfulness, and people understand more than ever that their world and the people in it are increasingly interconnected.

Despite progress, big issues to fix still remain in the world – systemic issues of poverty, inequality, concentration of wealth and power, access to basic goods and services, global consumption of resources and rising population, climate change, and human rights abuses to name a few. All of these large complex problems require creative and sustainable solutions to make real progress. This is where social enterprise comes in. Social enterprise has proven a powerful force toward confronting these global challenges. One of the most interesting and exciting aspects of social enterprise’s evolution is the growing variety of issues being addressed by market-oriented solutions.

Today, social enterprises are disrupting markets across every industry and tackling social challenges throughout every corner of the world.

Recognize any of these businesses?

They’re all social enterprises.

DC Central Kitchen / w​ww.dccentralkitchen.org DC

Central Kitchen is a nationally recognized “community kitchen” that recycles food from around Washington DC and uses it as a tool to train unemployed adults to develop work skills while providing thousands of meals for local service agencies in the process.

TOMS Shoes / w​ww.toms.com

Toms is a for-profit company that sells shoes and other products and creates social good through its “Buy One Give One” (BOGO) model. For example, when Toms sells a pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child, and when Toms sells a pair of eyewear, part of the profit is used to save or restore the eyesight for people in developing countries.

Greyston Bakery​ ​www.greyston.com

Greyston Bakery provides employment for the homeless in a bakery that makes brownies for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. As Greyston says, “we don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.” It is known for its “open hiring” practices, where anyone can sign up regardless of background. All profit from the company go to the Greyston Foundation, which uses it for low-income housing, day care open to the community, a medical center for those with AIDS, and other community endeavors.

Interested in Learning More?

Here are our recommended reading picks on social entrepreneurship:

  • How to Change the World by David Bornstein
  • The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz
  • Creating a World Without Poverty by Muhammad Yunus
  • Mission in a Bottle by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff

And take a look at the Summerfuel Social Entrepreneurship programs for a hands-on venture development opportunity.  SE at Stanford / SE at Georgetown

 

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Day 18 – Summerfuel Georgetown!

Day 18 was an absolute success! We are so proud of our Summerfuel Georgetown students!! After 3 long rigorous weeks of dedicated study and concentration on project assignments, our students boldly stepped before four judges whom are pioneers, CEOs, and directors of organizations within the social entrepreneurship field. Our students presented fantastically, wowing the judges and impressing their fellow classmates with their unique innovations. We laud your efforts and applaud your commitment to achievement and success! You rock Summerfuel Georgetown students!! Afterward, we were able to unwind to some comedy and good times as we had an impromptu fashion show!! Each team of students had materials in order to make one student in the group their fashion model. We enjoyed seeing the students creativity shine and had a lot of fun watching them strut their stuff in toilet paper, plastic cups, and yarn! Here at Summerfuel Georgetown, we couldn’t appreciate all the hard work without a bit of play time! From all of us here, you’re welcomed to join us for our next and (sadly) final day of Summerfuel Georgetown 2016!!

 

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Day 17 – Summerfuel Georgetown!

Day 17 was a total success! Students needed a break from their big presentations and we decided to take them to the Historic Alexandria, VA! What a wonderful time we had! We walked around viewing the sites and spent dinner at a nice friendly restaurant. We were able to chat, relax and fill our stomachs! The students were elated to discover a new area and take a much needed hiatus from their hectic work schedules!! What’s in store next for our Summerfuel adventure?? Stay tuned!!

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Day 16 – Summefuel Georgetown!T

Here at Summerfuel we like to highlight the academic progress and achievements of our students of their social entrepreneurship program at Georgetown. Our students have been working diligently on projects within groups that promote the safety and well-being of American citizens, offering creative and ingenious ways to some of our many societal problems. For students such as Juan Lauria, Kristopher Smith-Reichartz, and Athena Myers, this ingenuity comes in providing a much needed service to lower income families and neighborhoods. They’ve combined their own individual experience and intellect to produce a service that could be a real game-changer to human protection. Tyler Walkowski, Qixian Wang, Avery Salsberg, and Alyssa Giles have a completely different idea that may revolutionize the medical market in giving access to medical treatment. Ivan Makarov, Chris Khairallah and Chu Tong Zhao…..are exercising their skills to try and prevent one of societies biggest environmental issues that contribute to the wasting away of Earth’s ozone layer, while Alisa SU, Olivia Varughese, and Rogelio Yao are tackling issues that reduce toxins in the American consumers’ food supply. These brilliant minds have come together to truly battle against some of the toughest issues we face today in America and with only one day left until they present before selected judges from top fields and companies, we are excited to see what amazing things they have yet to come. From all of us here at Summerfuel Georgetown, join us again as we begin to bring our adventure to a close here at Georgetown University!

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Day 15 – Summerfuel Georgetown!

 

 

Day 15 was a success! We started off with academia and cuisine per the norm, then off to activities with tie dye t-shirts!! The students really enjoyed flexing their creative muscles and allowing ingenuity to produce fashionable attire! After some study time and dinner, the students partook in a talent show hosted by Resident Advisor Morghan! Who knew we had so many talented persons among us? There were several singing acts including a “boy band”, magic tricks and a dance-off! We had such a wonderful time singing, dancing and laughing, continuing that growth and development that we’ve effortlessly cultivated here on the Georgetown University campus. From all of us here at Summerfuel Georgetown, we suggest, we recommend, we implore you to join us again for our next adventure!!

 

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Day 14 – Summerfuel Georgetown!

Wow! We’re already at Day 14 of Summerfuel and we haven’t stopped having fun yet. Today we were taken on an amazing trip to Mount Vernon to see the large estate of our first American President, George Washington. We were amazed at the large property and the antique feel of the 18th Century estate and it’s trimmings. We were able to visit the burial site of Washington and his immediate family members still lying to rest on the property. We enjoyed lunch at the local restaurants there on the tour and headed off to D.C. for more exploring. There we found ourselves at the nation’s most famous obelisk, the Washington Monument. We took flight up the elevators to pan the amazing view of the D.C. area from atop the obelisk, where we were able to capture some breathtaking photography. We had such an amazing day learning about Washington and taking in the sites. From all of us here at Summerfuel, we welcome you to join us again as we venture off into our next expedition.

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Day 13 – Summerfuel Georgetown

Day 13 of Summerfuel was fantastic. We started the day with a trip to Baltimore Harbor. The weather was nice and cool and the students were able to tour all the harbor had to offer, from the National Aquarium to the Top of Baltimore skyline view. Students felt compelled to visit the local eateries such as Starbucks for refreshment and conversation. After a satisfying walk through of the harbor, we headed back to campus for some relaxation before the evenings festivities. Jump starting the end to our night we joined in on Casino Night hosted by the Summerfuel Staff. The students had a blast competing and playing in the games while using Monopoly dollars. We had some really big winners last night and we’re all excited to see what they’ll do what their new fortunes. From all of us here at Summerfuel, we thank you for joining us on our journey and hope you’ll come back tomorrow for more adventure.

 

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Day 12 – Summerfuel Georgetown!

Day 12 we had a blast here at Summerfuel. We started our day with business as usual with classes and healthy eating at Leo’s in O’ Donovan Hall here at GU then it was off to adventure. Our students were given a Potomac River tour on one of the many fine river taxis on the river. As we dashed past the Washington Monument were given historical facts of the river and the landmarks we passed by. Thereafter, the students were able to peruse the area and then head back in for a rousing game of Capture The Flag. Our students competitive nature knows no bounds as they tried with all their might to be the victors. Here at Summerfuel all of our students are winners and we were eager to join in on the fun. From all of us here at Summerfuel we welcome you back to see where our adventure takes us next.

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