WHO needs the definition?

Does social entrepreneurship need to be defined?

I think that any of us who are actually involved in the social sector would answer this question in the affirmative.  But why do we answer in this way?  We respond to the question easily, but find it more difficult to support our opinion.  So, I ask, why does social entrepreneurship need to be defined?

I believe that there are multiple answers to this question.  For this reason, we must precede the question of why social entrepreneurship needs to be defined with the question, “For whom does social entrepreneurship need to be defined?

Social Entrepreneurship needs to be defined for [at least] three groups of people.  These groups are:  (1) those involved in the social sector; (2) those who are true social entrepreneurs; and (3) the general public.

1 – Why those involved in the social sector need a definition.

-They need to know what their role is in the social sector.  If a person thinks he is a social entrepreneur, but in reality is merely a social contributor, he is probably spending time and effort outside of his sphere of greatest influence.  And, he will likely fail.  Let’s face it:  some people are meant to be followers and supporters, not leaders.

2 – Why true social entrepreneurs need a definition.

-Social entrepreneurs are rare.  They are the people enacting real change in the world – change in markets, change in approaches to problems, and change in people’s lives.  They can and will drive a level of impact far greater than anyone else in the world can achieve.  THEY MUST BE RECOGNIZED FOR THIS!  As long as social entrepreneurship remains ambiguous, many social entrepreneurs with great potential will be lost in the midst of the “wanna-be’s.”  They will not receive the support, funding, and exposure necessary to achieve great success.  The wanna-be’s are important, but they cannot be allowed to crowd out the true social entrepreneurs.

3 – Why the public needs a definition.

-I thought of two enormous, albeit slightly selfish, reasons to provide the public with a succinct definition of S.E.  First, so people can actually find out what it is when Googleing it.  And second, so people won’t simply smile and nod when I explain social entrepreneurship to them, but will actually understand what I’m talking about.

These are just a few quick thoughts and obviously do not constitute a comprehensive list.  I’m interested to hear anyone else’s reasons for who needs to have a definition of S.E. and why they need it.  Add too my reasons, subtract from them, tell me if they’re idiotic, or critique them.

Oh yeah, my answer to the question is “yes.”

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