• Regina Kyle

    Spot on, Ruth. I research social entrepreneurship and the quality of reporting in general publications is pathetic. I am surprised at Inc. They are usually better than this.

  • Third Sector Radio USA

    Thanks for continuing to be straight-forward, Ruth.

    Only a narrowly-focused business entrepreneur (contrasted to a social entrepreneur, or more correctly, social innovator) would regard the nonprofit sector as “outdated.” It is only outdated to those who believe with religious fervor that all individuals should behave as the mythical homo economicus, and that civil society cannot be represented in nonprofits, or indeed that civil society is even necessary. Nonprofits (when they avoid getting too caught up in the business model) represent a framework that complements the State and the business sector. Shopping.Give seems like an excellent way to make business more rational and realistic when dealing with human beings. Not as a replacement for nonprofits.

  • Jason Cuomo

    Well said, Ruth. As a director at a small relief and development iNGO, I have witnessed my fair share of social entrepreneurs pitching their product and process innovations. While I am all for building a better mousetrap, more often then not these novel solutions are repackaged old ones that already had less than stellar track records. Worse are those that have developed a solution and now need to find a problem – and are thus working with little to no contextual knowledge or local participation. The increased attention on social entrepreneurship is fantastic and having new eyes examine current and future problems is only beneficial. But it must be done within a framework of collaborative problem-solving, an appreciation of what has been done before, what has and hasn’t worked and why, who the stakeholders are, and how to define and measure meaningful outcomes.The increasing hype over social good startups not only does a disservice to existing, proven nonprofits but threatens to disillusion the public of the importance and impact of the sector. In short, we must move past the sizzle into the steak.

  • John Lovell

    Isn’t this exactly what AmazonSmile has been doing for years? And they are giving from Amazon profits. I also remember a number of tiered marketing schemes.

  • Fluff pieces have become the norm, hiding and hurting real problems. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Michael Patton

    Important and perceptive Ruth. The hype follows the money. The money follows the hype.

  • Cynthia Gibson
  • PeoplePro Intl

    Interesting read.. throws light on the why & what of social entrepreneurship…