What do we mean by social entrepreneurship?

Various definitions and interpretations of social entrepreneurship exist, depending upon the perspective from which the subject is approached. In our view it is important that the individual entrepreneur is put first and that the process of social entrepreneurial behaviour is stressed. We therefore use the following definition: Social entrepreneurship comprises the recognition of a social problem, with regard to which opportunities for the creation of goods and services are explored, evaluated and developed, with the primary goal of establishing a social change in an innovative way. In short: social entrepreneurship deals with individuals who discern opportunities for social renewal and realise this with a philosophy that does justice to all parties concerned. 

It is stressed that social goals prevail over financial goals. Social entrepreneurship therefore comprises more than Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). At the same time we emphasize that the realisation of profit is fully acceptable. However, the philosophy in general will be such that profits are invested to further stimulate the envisaged social changes. The definition also leaves scope for entrepreneurial behaviour that is not linked to the running of a business.

Launch SE Initiatve

On June 15 2013 we celebrated the official launch of the Utrecht University Social Entrepreneurship Initiative during the Law, Economics and Governance Facultyday. One of the speakers was Mr. Aart Jan van Geus, president of the executive board of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and former Minister of Social Affairs and Employment. View his contribution.