The third
lens focuses on social context and community. I will be drawing on Austin,
Stevenson & Wei-Skillen’s (2006) distinction between private and social
entrepreneurship to reflect on where I see my future career and entrepreneurial
aspirations. I will look at how the two different forms
of entrepreneurship have been defined in entrepreneurial literature by the
likes of Dees (1998).

 

Private entrepreneurship refers businesses that
look to create ‘profitable operations resulting in private gain.’ (Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, 2006). Social entrepreneurship refers to businesses that
look to provide a positive social effect or benefit. Dees argues that

Social
entrepreneurship can include social purpose business ventures, such as for-profit
community development banks, and hybrid organizations mixing not-for-profit and
for-profit elements, such as homeless shelters that start businesses to train and
employ their resident. (1998).

The main goal for social entrepreneurship is to generate a positive social
effect or benefit for the community, rather than private gain. (Austin,
Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, 2006). This is what essentially separates social
and private entrepreneurship.

 

Social enterprises (which can be for-profit or not-for-profit
businesses) will offer their services, to attain ‘financial sustainability
independent of government and other donors.’ (Di
Domenico, Haugh & Tracey, 2010). This means that they ‘share the pursuit of revenue generation with
organizations in the private sector as well as the achievement of social (and
environmental) goals of non-profit organizations.’ (Dees, 1998; Di Domenico, Haugh & Tracey, 2010). I think that as a possible
future entrepreneur looking to set up a business, this shows me the problems
that a social enterprise may come across as they are not only targeting to deliver
some sort of social value, but they may also have to compete against businesses
that are only focused on making profits.

 

As mentioned earlier, the main goal of social entrepreneurship is to provide
some sort of positive social benefit or effect. Conversely, private entrepreneurship is about
creating a profitable business, which results in the entrepreneur benefiting by
gaining more money. Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern
(2006) point out that this
distinction is overstated and that private entrepreneurship does in fact
benefit society. They argue this by using the example of ‘new and valuable
goods, services, and jobs’ which they believe ‘can have transformative social
impacts’ and that these transformations can motivate and inspire the private
entrepreneurs. (Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, 2006). This point of view
makes a good argument and shows me how private entrepreneurs can benefit
society. It also makes me think more clearly of where I see my future career and entrepreneurial
aspirations. Learning about how private entrepreneurship is not only about
making profits, but how I could benefit society as a private entrepreneur; This
makes me believe that I could not only look to benefit society, but also make
money at the same time.

 

In their research on social entrepreneurship,
Marti & Mair (2006) mention how recently
many well-known entrepreneurs ‘have dedicated substantial resources to
supporting social entrepreneurship’. ‘Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, recently
announced a one million US dollar award for innovative approaches and
breakthrough solutions to effectively improve communities or the world at
large.’ (Marti & Mair, 2006).

 

In week 8 of
ENSI207 we explored the concept of social entrepreneurship plus its role in
society. As part of the bootstrapping challenge, any
profits we made were donated to charity. Looking for the distinction between private and social
entrepreneurship has helped me to see that there are similarities and differences between the two. (Austin,
Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, 2006). This was the most influential for me in understanding
entrepreneurship and where I see my future career and entrepreneurial aspirations as it
made me think that as a private entrepreneur I could not only look to benefit
society, but also make money at the same time.

 

Overall; In
terms of how I understand entrepreneurship, the main things I have come to
understand (through this module and the little experience that I have gained);
are the importance of connecting with customers and how customer value
proposition plays a big role in this. Customers will choose to come to you
based on the value proposition offered. One example is giving customers the
chance to personalise products which makes it more personal for them. Another thing
I have learned is that ‘entrepreneurship is a process of learning’ (Minniti & Bygrave, 2001) and that
it is better to experience something first-hand and
use the experience to learn and improve. I believe that the bootstrapping
challenge as well as the
lecture material have helped me to learn and develop. Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, (2006) make a good argument
about how private entrepreneurs can benefit society, which improved my
understanding and has made me more interested in a future entrepreneurial
career. The reason being that as a private entrepreneur I could not only look to benefit society, but
also make money at the same time.