Social Entrepreneurship: Creating New Business Models to Serve the Poor

Posted: 17 Nov 2009

Date Written: 2005


This study investigates social entrepreneurs and how corporations are increasingly expected to accept social and environmental responsibility. Businesses and organizations that cater to basic human needs that existing markets and institutions have failed to satisfy are called social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship combines the innovativeness of traditional entrepreneurs with a mission to change and improve society. Three cases are provided to illustrate the new type of enterprise: (1) The Institute for OneWorld Health, founded by Victoria Hale, a non-profit pharmaceutical company; (2) Sekem, an Egyptian multi-business initiative, founded by Ibrahim Abouleish; and (3) the Grameen Bank, founded by Muhammad Yunus, an economics professor, in Bangladesh.These examples show how social entrepreneurship, as a field of experimentation and innovation, can contribute insights into discovering newcollaborative value creation to meet basic human needs and for corporations to exercise social responsibility. (TNM)

Keywords: Not-for-profit organizations, Business models, Sustainable development, Social entrepreneurs, Social entrepreneurship, Social responsibilities

Suggested Citation

Seelos, Christian and Mair, Johanna, Social Entrepreneurship: Creating New Business Models to Serve the Poor (2005). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

Christian Seelos (Contact Author)

Stanford PACS ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Johanna Mair


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