Is a social entrepreneur born or made? You may be wondering whether it is nature or nurture that makes an individual a social entrepreneur. Is it something in their DNA, or can anyone learn how to become a social entrepreneur? 

It is a very controversial topic. There are lots of entrepreneurs talking about their journey to success on YouTube. Some make you think that it is encoded into their DNA. Some may give you tips and emphasise the importance of a good education. Even the entrepreneurs themselves have different perspectives on what initiated and helped them to reach success as an entrepreneur. 

Who is a Social Entrepreneur? 

If you are an individual who uses entrepreneurial skills to solve social problems, you can consider yourself a social entrepreneur. Making a social impact and finding the answers to the question of “how to” every day is their main concern. Compared to other types of entrepreneurship, their focus is on raising money and creating solutions for communal and/or global peace and welfare. 

You can read our article to learn more about social entrepreneurship. Or, for more insights from experienced entrepreneurs, sign up for our EWOR Platform and gain access to over 17 courses and a plethora of resources.

The Boosting Power of Nature 

The Role Of Nature

How far are your natural abilities coming from birth involved with your career as a social entrepreneur? It is no secret that most entrepreneurs share certain common personality traits, such as their risk-taking ability or foresight. Yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that every social entrepreneur is born the same way. Some may not be willing to take the same risks but can convince other people how promising their business strategy is. 

You can teach individuals certain skills and give them the secrets of mastering any job. However, there will always be some people who will be able to climb the ladders of success faster than others. Think about the world’s elite athletes. Anyone can train for long hours to get ready for a marathon, but being born with genes that respond better to athletic training is what brings you forward. 

Remember, entrepreneurs who are naturally good at communication and marketing can master how to promote their business easily but may also fail to foresee any future problems. Counting on your strong sides already coming from birth but not incorporating them with further skills you can gain through education or interaction with mentors may still lead you to failure. 

The Role Of Intuition

When you listen to the stories of successful entrepreneurs, most of them talk about how their interest in buying and selling showed itself naturally at a very early age. Most of them had a drive that led them to try to sell their toys to people on the streets as a kid or already found a way to double their pocket money at school. 

An individual who intuitively feels concerned with global problems, such as climate change, and wants to take action is more likely to become a social entrepreneur. What makes social entrepreneurs different from other entrepreneurs is their desire to make a social impact. They have a magic ability to move people, which is a natural part of them. 

The Undeniable Contribution of Education

Even Einstein had to learn and practice. It is always advantageous to be born predisposed to develop certain skills more quickly than others.

For instance, you may have musical talent, but you probably won’t become a virtuoso without learning how to play an instrument and lots of practice. If your aptitude is not discovered or not reinforced enough, it won’t show itself. 

The Role Of Your Environment

You should not forget the importance of your surroundings. A baby that is born into a family with doctors is probably more likely to study medicine than someone who isn’t. It is the same for some entrepreneurs. If you already grow up in an environment where business is in every aspect of your life, you are already in a very advantageous place. 

Think about Elon Musk. He comes from a family of entrepreneurs. His familial background, wealth, and observing the business environment from an early age were probably more decisive on his future than his intuitions. He could have still become a self-made entrepreneur, but his background gave him the kickstart he needed. 

On the other hand, an individual faced with inequalities and global problems such as lack of access to clean water may be more concerned about finding solutions. Being an empathetic person is a big part of a social entrepreneur’s personality. Experiencing or witnessing such problems can develop empathy further. 

The Role Of Education 

Is it necessary to study entrepreneurship and business? Can you learn how to become an entrepreneur at college? The answer depends on who you ask. An entrepreneur should constantly learn, especially from others. You can learn about different frameworks, tools, and management skills. You can learn from mentors how to avoid certain mistakes and others your school programme can’t prepare you for.

Compared to most degree programmes, pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship can’t exactly tell you what job you can do. If you google it now, you won’t find any companies with open positions for “entrepreneurs”. Especially if you’re a social entrepreneur, finding a niche to start your own business to address global problems will be more narrow because most companies are mainly concerned with their yearly profit than creating social impact.

The Role Of Experience

You can study the theory, but it might be different in practice. Anyone can get into college and pursue a business degree. However, not everyone will become a successful entrepreneur. Every idea and start-up will encounter different problems and need different solutions. Whether you can predict them before they arise, learn from them, or withstand the stress is dependent on you as an individual. 

During your journey to becoming a social entrepreneur, you will probably face lots of hardships. You will face problems where the school books won’t have the answers. Not everyone is built for stress and challenges. Not everyone can think critically or practically. But anyone can learn how to cope with problems that require different solutions than they were thought of or experienced before. 

What Do You Need To Become a Social Entrepreneur?

There is no clear-cut answer to who can become a social entrepreneur. However, some tools can help you with your overall journey.

  • Salesmanship: The natural ability to be able to sell something to someone is a big part of an entrepreneur’s personality. 
  • Risk-taking: Everyone can come up with an idea, but not everyone is courageous enough to go after what they want to achieve. 
  • Passion: Being a social entrepreneur might be frustrating sometimes since it is not easy to deal with problems that require more global and/or communal participation and dedication. Loving what you do and believing in it is a big part of this job. 
  • Surroundings: Individuals who grow up already facing the consequences of global problems or inequalities tend to be more concerned with finding solutions. 

So the Answer Is…

A social entrepreneur is both born and made. Anyone who is interested in global problems and is ready to find solutions can become a social entrepreneur. There will always be some people who are naturally good in certain fields or have an advantageous background.

These can make you stand out, but just relying on your natural abilities and not improving yourself is not enough. That’s why, even if you were born a social entrepreneur, you still need to learn and experience. As they say, practice makes perfect.

About the author

Sign up to our Newsletter