Every Friday night, I’m watching ABC’s Shark Tank. Currently in their 6th season—just celebrated their 100th episode— they have done an extraordinary job educating the public on what it means and takes to be an entrepreneur. There hasn’t been a business they weren’t qualified to find flaws, make improvements, or invest in.
While they invest or not, one shark or another makes it a point to give advice about the business concept. No one escapes without criticism. In some cases, some will have unfortunately be labeled a want-trepreneur.
OUCH! I would hate that label.
Even if they didn’t get a deal, all of them are truly entrepreneurs. Merriam Webster dictionary defines Entrepreneur to be a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money. However, the same dictionary doesn’t provide a definition of a Social Entrepreneur.
My definition of a Social Entrepreneur is a person who starts a nonprofit organization, which is a cause to solve problems not addressed by the government or for-profit business. Unlike a business entrepreneur, a reason to bring it into existence is due to an extreme need for humanity.
Here are some causes you may know:
- Homelessness – housing costs, lack of housing, lack of income;
- Water shortage – lack of drinking water in 3rd world countries;
- Poverty – generational, working poor, rural areas;
- Health – affordable healthcare options for all, Pre-K, dental;
- Education Gaps – financial, public, tutoring, after-school;
- Animals – endangered, abused, foster care;
- Go Green – carbon footprint, waste dumping, transportation, energy;
- And more!!!
If any of these things keep you up at night, you’re a Social Entrepreneur. If you know that you can make a difference in any of the above, you’re a Social Entrepreneur. If you don’t see a business or government working to find a solution for it, you’re a Social Entrepreneur. If you find yourself knowing that you won’t probably be a millionaire (not saying you won’t be) for your product/service, you’re a Social Entrepreneur.
All this said, Dream Big was everything I mentioned above for me. Nothing made sense until I started this business. As a Social Entrepreneur, it will be your business to share with the world. The joy of helping others is your motivation. Are you a social entrepreneur?
Don’t let the paperwork of a 501c() scare you. It can be done yourself. You can also ask an attorney with nonprofit experience, or ask around. Are you a social entrepreneur? I believe if you’re reading this, you are a social entrepreneur.
Go and change the world!
I write this because my business is personal. My struggles are for your gain. No strings attached.
Nathan A. Webster, MBA