Not Everyone Should Be a Social Entrepreneur

In the recent HBR blog post Not Everyone Should Be a Social Entrepreneur, Laura Galinsky (SVP of Echoing Green) writes about a trend she sees where many want to be “social entrepreneurs”, but few should be.

She was a young, energetic college freshman at NYU who knew just what she wanted. She approached me after I spoke on a panel about social enterprise and said those magic words: “I want to be a social entrepreneur.”

I was shocked. I had been in the field for nearly a decade, and had never heard social entrepreneurship referred to as an occupation, let alone a desirable one.

… Most members of this generation will not be social entrepreneurs, and they shouldn’t be. But if we can channel their altruistic energy and give them the tools, methodologies, and frameworks from the most successful social entrepreneurs, they will be changemakers, champions, and supporters of the work. They will make meaningful contributions to the world not by founding organizations but by bringing their best selves — their heart and head — to their work. And they will do this in all sectors, not just in nonprofit organizations but also in government agencies, family businesses, and major corporations.

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