Challenges for Social Entrepreneurs


The field of social entrepreneurship is growing rapidly and attracting increased attention from many sectors. The term itself shows up frequently in the media, is referenced by public officials, has become common on university campuses. One of the most important reasons behind the popularity of social entrepreneurship is the inherently appealing stories about entrepreneurs and how they confront challenges. Finding the funding, building strong infrastructure, and creating innovative ideas are the three challenges social entrepreneurs face.

Financing the growth of operations to achieve major objectives is undoubtedly the biggest challenge facing social entrepreneurs. Not all of the social entrepreneurs have sufficient funding to fulfill their innovative ideas. One way to solve this problem is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is the collective cooperation by people who network and pool their money together. Entrepreneurs looking to finance socially responsible start-ups can use crowd-funding to find capital from patient investors who want long-term results and not just a quick fix.

The Stockbox team used this web-enabled method to build Stockbox Grocery, (Woodward, 2011). Prior to this, people were not familiar with their plans and they had insufficient money to practice their ideas. To solve this, they engaged in crowdfunding. Crowdfunding offered a platform for fundraisers to access their community which enabled the Stockbox team to attract investors interested in their brilliant ideas and build the store in Seattle Washington, (Woodward, 2011).

Fundraising is an important part of social entrepreneur. In order to get an ideal amount of money donated, Keith Curtis, founder of the Curtis Group, recommends social entrepreneurs to take 70% of their time to meet potential donors, (Heather Joslyn, 2010) Difficulty in building supportive infrastructure of the organization is another great challenge for social entrepreneurs. A dependable work team and practical plan are necessary to achieve the specific long-term goals of the social entrepreneur.

Outstanding management leads to strategic methods of identifying the scale of the plan and global operation and lays the foundation for success, (PSI fellows, 2010). As Dees (2007, p. 33) notes, a successful social entrepreneur is supported with a conducive environment. Wide-ranging dissemination of the goals and plans is indispensable and makes people familiar with what the company is and how they can benefit from the organization. In addition, government support can significantly help social entrepreneurs with particular policies.

Under the support of the government, social entrepreneurs can courageously practice their innovative ideas, manage the risk of their plans, and attract individual citizen investors’ trust. In a word, social entrepreneurs need to consider about a great number of aspects and create their own infrastructure of the organization. Innovative ideas are indispensable in order to be distinguished above other similar companies. Charity foundation and individual investors will consider financing people with brilliant and unproven ideas.

It is an arduous task for social entrepreneurs to break the norm and reform traditional structures. Social entrepreneurs, based on previous experience, may reorganize the structure of a specific field or even combine several fields together to create an absolutely new idea field. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, is best known for developing the innovative idea of a microfinance bank which even won him the Nobel Peace Prize, (The Economist, 2010).

Drayton, who founded the Environmental Protection Agency, made ranging from the introduction of emissions trading to the use of economics-defined incentives to remove the advantage of delaying compliance, (Bornstein,2004). Ashoka is another example who enlarged the range of social entrepreneur. Childline, his company, combines businesses, kids from the street, groups of citizens, and the government to create a widespread network with a great reputation and strong influence. Drayton, Muhammad Yunus and Ashoka did not follow the prevailing structure of their fields.

Instead, they brought out marvelous ideas to achieve success. All in all, social entrepreneur continues to grow in popularity. With sufficient finance, the support of infrastructure and support for their creative ideas, social entrepreneurs can put their ideas into practice and overcome the obstructs. In order to achiece this, social entrepreneurs need to make tremendously great effort to a sophisticated plan.