The thirdlens focuses on social context and community. I will be drawing on Austin,Stevenson & Wei-Skillen’s (2006) distinction between private and socialentrepreneurship to reflect on where I see my future career and entrepreneurialaspirations. I will look at how the two different formsof entrepreneurship have been defined in entrepreneurial literature by thelikes of Dees (1998). Private entrepreneurship refers toentrepreneurs aiming to create ‘profitable operations resulting inprivate gain.’ (Austin, Stevenson -Skillern, 2006). Social entrepreneurshiprefers to entrepreneurs that to create a business providing a product orservice that will in some way have a positive social effect or benefit.
‘Socialentrepreneurship can include social purpose business ventures, such asfor-profit community development banks, and hybrid organizations mixingnot-for-profit and for-profit elements, such as homeless shelters that startbusinesses to train and employ their resident.’ (Dees, 1998). The main goal for social entrepreneurship is togenerate a positive social effect or benefit for the community, rather than individualbenefit or gain. (Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, 2006). This is whatessentially differentiates social and private entrepreneurship.
Social enterprises (which can be for-profit or not-for-profitbusinesses) try to achieve certain social goals or objectives by offering theirproduct or service, to attain ‘financial sustainability independent ofgovernment and other donors.’ (Di Domenico,Haugh & Tracey, 2010). This means that they ‘share the pursuit of revenue generation withorganizations in the private sector as well as the achievement of social (andenvironmental) goals of non-profit organizations.’ (Dees, 1998; Di Domenico, Haugh & Tracey, 2010).
I think that as a possiblefuture entrepreneur looking to set up a business, this shows me thedifficulties that a social enterprise can face as they are not only having toachieve their goal of delivering a social benefit, but they may also have tocompete against firms that are only focused on profits. As mentioned earlier, the main goal of social entrepreneurship is todeliver some sort of positive social benefit or effect for the community. Conversely, privateentrepreneurship is about establishing a profitable business, which results inthe entrepreneur benefiting by gaining more money. Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern (2006) point out that this distinction is exaggerated and thatprivate entrepreneurship does in fact benefit society. They argue this by usingthe example of ‘new and valuable goods, services, and jobs’ which they believe’can have transformative social impacts’ and that these transformations can encourageor inspire the private entrepreneurs.
(Austin, Stevenson -Skillern, 2006). This point of view makes a good argument and shows me howprivate entrepreneurs can benefit society. It also makes me think more clearlyof where I see myfuture career and entrepreneurial aspirations. Learning about how privateentrepreneurship is not only about making profits, but how I could benefitsociety as a private entrepreneur. This makes me believe that as a privateentrepreneur I could not only look to benefit society, but also make money atthe same time. In their research on social entrepreneurship,Marti & Mair (2006) mention how recentlymany well-known entrepreneurs ‘have dedicated substantial resources tosupporting social entrepreneurship’. ‘Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, recentlyannounced a one million US dollar award for innovative approaches andbreakthrough solutions to effectively improve communities or the world atlarge.’ (Marti & Mair, 2006).
In week 8 ofthe module we explored the concept of social entrepreneurship and its role insociety. As part of the bootstrapping challenge, anyprofits we made were donated to charity. Trying to see the distinction between private and socialentrepreneurship 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 inunderstanding entrepreneurship and where I see my future career and entrepreneurial aspirations as itmade me think that as a private entrepreneur I could not only look to benefitsociety, but also make money at the same time.
Overall; Interms of how I understand entrepreneurship, the main things I have come tounderstand (through this module and the little experience that I have gained)are the importance of connecting with customers and how customer valueproposition plays a big role in this. Customers will choose to come to youbased on the value proposition offered. One example is giving customers thechance to personalise products which makes it more personal for them. Another thingI have learned is that ‘entrepreneurship is a process of learning’ (Minniti & Bygrave, 2001) and thatit is better to experience something first-hand anduse the experience to learn and improve. I believe that the bootstrappingchallenge as well as thelecture material have helped me to learn and improve.
Austin, Stevenson & Wei-Skillern, (2006) make a good argumentabout how private entrepreneurs can benefit society, which improved myunderstanding and has made me more interested in a future entrepreneurialcareer. The reason being that as a private entrepreneur I could not only look to benefit society, butalso make money at the same time.