Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know

Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know

Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know

Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know


In development circles, there is now widespread consensus that social entrepreneurs represent a far better mechanism to respond to needs than we have ever had before--a decentralized and emergent force that remains our best hope for solutions that can keep pace with our problems and create a more peaceful world.

David Bornstein's previous book on social entrepreneurship, How to Change the World, was hailed by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times as "a bible in the field" and published in more than twenty countries. Now, Bornstein shifts the focus from the profiles of successful social innovators in that book--and teams with Susan Davis, a founding board member of the Grameen Foundation--to offer the first general overview of social entrepreneurship. In a Q & A format allowing readers to go directly to the information they need, the authors map out social entrepreneurship in its broadest terms as well as in its particulars.

Bornstein and Davis explain what social entrepreneurs are, how their organizations function, and what challenges they face. The book will give readers an understanding of what differentiates social entrepreneurship from standard business ventures and how it differs from traditional grant-based non-profit work. Unlike the typical top-down, model-based approach to solving problems employed by the World Bank and other large institutions, social entrepreneurs work through a process of iterative learning -- learning by doing--working with communities to find unique, local solutions to unique, local problems. Most importantly, the book shows readers exactly how they can get involved.

Anyone inspired by Barack Obama's call to service and who wants to learn more about the essential features and enormous promise of this new method of social change, Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know® is the ideal first place to look.

What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.


For much of the past decade, the specter of 9/11 has hovered like a dark cloud, a stark reminder that we have entered a phase of human history in which individuals can destabilize nations. The global dispersion of information, technology, and organizing capability has forced governments to rethink the basis of human security. These forces have also caused many to rethink the way we address global problems. Just as individuals and small groups have more destructive capability now, they also have more constructive capability.

This is fortuitous because the need for change is urgent. The United Nations recently reported that one billion people face hunger as a result of the financial crisis. Millions of women and girls die prematurely due to violence or the denial of medical care. Deadly diseases circulate globally with astonishing speed. Coral reefs are being destroyed, species are going extinct, fresh water reserves are being depleted, global warming is accelerating. At home we struggle to fix health care and financial systems that have run dangerously out of control.

Many respond to the onslaught of problems by tuning out the world, getting lost in distractions, or adopting an attitude . . .

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