At Startup Nomads we don’t like labels and categorizations. There’s heated debate surrounding the definition of the term entrepreneurship. Are you a social entrepreneur or just a simple entrepreneur? The answer doesn’t matter and the distinction is the result of misconceptions.
Both terms are the result of a biased perception of what doing business means. In the mind of people social entrepreneurs embody the nobleness of human beings. Simple entrepreneurs on the other hand are perceived as self-absorbed and cash-driven.
People seem to ignore the fact that self-interested entrepreneurs can generate both economic and social value. Having profit-maximization as a main objective does not necessarily exclude other motives. The same goes for having social goals as main motive. This does not necessarily exclude the aim of profit- maximization.
Apple is a commercial enterprise driven by profit-maximization. To increase its market reach enormous amounts have been invested in the implementation of technologies improving the accessibility of its devices (via screen-reading, voice commands, Siri, etc.) By pursuing this strategy Apple has not only increased its market reach, but it has also empowered the digital lives of disabled people.
Gramen Bank, is perhaps the most important microcredit organization around the world. Empowering the poorest by handing out loans is the main aim pursed by the organization founded by Muhammad Yunus, nicknamed the banker of the poor. However the organization pursues also cost-cutting and profit-maximizing goals to be self-sufficient.
The intention of this article is not to diminish the role of social entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs (if you still like to use this distinction). You should just realize that the lines between the two are blurred.
What really matters is that you create something valuable.
Wake up and start creating!