In France, 10 to 15% of the GDP is generated by social employment. (Source: Ashoka)
Nearly 80% of social entrepreneurs are copied. (Source: Ashoka)
72% of all social entrepreneurs state that raising funds is their biggest challenge.
Social entrepreneurship is a recent notion that emerged in the nineties on both sides of the Atlantic:
In the USA, notably with the "Social Enterprise Initiative", launched in 1993 by Harvard Business School and followed by other major universities (Columbia, Yale, etc.); also with various foundations who develop training and support programmes for social entrepreneurs and social enterprises.
Source: translated from Institut pour le développement de l’information économique et sociale (IDIES)
The social entrepreneur is an individual whose primary goal is not profit-making but creating social value, capable at the same time of seizing and optimising the opportunities s/he encounters, of gathering the necessary resources to drive her/his local project, and of finding innovative solutions to the social problems in her/his community that remain unaddressed by the current system. This will lead her/him to adopt an entrepreneurial behaviour within the framework of traditional management practices.
Sources: translated from "Définition de l'entreprenariat social: Revue de la Littérature selon les Critères Géographique et Thématique" Sophie Bacq & Professor Frank Janssen
Social entrepreneurs bring forth economic projects in the collective interest and/or for promoting a social aim. They reconcile economic efficiency and social utility, private initiative and solidarity: fighting against exclusion, creating or preserving quality jobs, economic enhancement of an area, guaranteeing a fair income for producers, building social bonds, etc.
Quite often, these two dimensions are combined with a third foal of participatory governance: involvement of stakeholders, limited returns on capital, profits reinvested into the project.
Thus in social entrepreneurship, profit-making does not constitute an end in itself, but a means to serve a community project.