A social entrepreneur is one who builds an organisation dedicated to addressing a social issue. This job usually covers a vast range of concepts. This includes charities that raise funds to resolve community challenges. They create organisations that seek to raise awareness on sensitive issues. It offers scope to fill in societal gaps which are not long been given enough attention.

The job that a social entrepreneur does is often undertaken with a noble cause in mind. Most of these entrepreneurs seek to make a positive impact through their services. The benefits of social entrepreneurship differ from regular entrepreneurship in significant ways.

7 Rewards of Social Entrepreneurship

Making a Positive Impact 

Social entrepreneurship is more than just a regular job for a social entrepreneur because they provide products or services that help a community find solutions to societal challenges. EWOR is an example of such entrepreneurship. It helps to provide budding entrepreneurs with the knowledge to launch their businesses.

Creating a Positive Community 

The impact doesn’t stop after they provide the service. Social entrepreneurs have the potential to build strong partnerships with other businesses. It helps to achieve both of their goals. A socially conscious company might join forces with a manufacturer and distributor to make and sell its products. In that way, all parties are employed under the banner of a good cause.

Boosts Diversity 

This raises awareness on behalf of underrepresented communities such as racial/ethnic/religious minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community and the physically/mentally disabled indviduals. Social entrepreneurs help their voices to be heard in the larger society as well.

Filling in Market Gaps 

They manage to fill in demographic gaps. It includes charity shops. They sell second-hand goods at cheaper prices and they donate a part of their profits to other charitable organisations. Customers who cannot afford new, are able to buy similar second-hand products.  This helps charities to gain donations from these purchases too.

Less Direct Competitors 

The majority of businesses invest in making profits. which means that social responsibility isn’t practised. That’s why a social enterprise has more opportunities to stand out. They can attract customers based on their USP (Unique Selling Proposition). As they deliver good quality products or services, they can focus more on retaining loyal customers. It helps them to worry less about their competitors.

Access to More Capital Options 

Society and government have interests in supporting businesses that benefit social causes. They are willing to fund social entrepreneurship ventures and interested in providing the business owner with assets. This includes raw materials and machinery at discounted rates. The Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship alone supports 100,000 social entrepreneurs worldwide.

Personal Satisfaction 

A social entrepreneur will be able to witness first-hand the positive impact of their job. This pushes them to keep going after their goals because the personal satisfaction they gain is their best gift. This is what makes social entrepreneurs continue to work harder to support their cause.

Yet, with these unique advantages come unique drawbacks. Social entrepreneurs aren’t exempt from challenges. Anyone considering this path should be well aware of them.

7 Challenges of Social Entrepreneurship

More Accountability 

With great social responsibility comes greater accountability. Most social enterprises need to adhere to government rules and regulations. This usually means a lot of paperwork. It’s important for an entrepreneur to keep track of any changes. They must follow them to keep the business running. 

Specialised Skills Needed 

Social enterprises cater to specialised markets which require a very specific skill set. This might make hiring employees and volunteers challenging. This leads to entrepreneurs not finding enough people with excellent skills to run the business. That’s why they might have to take on more work themselves.  

Closer Monitoring of the Market 

Social issues shift and evolve over time. They need to keep a close eye on the market to predict trends. Any small changes will trigger a greater shift within it. Entrepreneurs should always act on the trends within their market niche.

Market Competition

Social enterprises have few direct competitors which mean, they still have to contend with their larger mainstream counterparts. Big corporations have the advantage of brand visibility and longevity. Social entrepreneurs must work harder to attain this and may need to learn to accept smaller market shares in the long run.

Possible Lack of Support 

Not all communities are willing to patronise socially conscious businesses. Unfortunately, some societies do not consider minority rights. For those who support these rights, the ruling majority sometimes excludes them. 

Gaining Consumer Trust 

Social enterprise has to focus most of their marketing material on the good they intend to do in their name. The business often has to emphasise achieving moral gains in supporting such a cause.

Inability to Scale Up

Social enterprises often find it challenging to expand.  This is caused by the government and societally imposed constraints. Some might think these are advantages to remaining small and localised. Yet, it can be frustrating for a business owner to lose out on opportunities. 


Having a job as a social entrepreneur is highly rewarding as you start climbing the ladders of your career. That’s why social entrepreneurs are prepared to put in an equal amount of hard work. However, it’s important to bear its unique drawbacks in mind because this is a line of work that stands to benefit many communities. The sense of purpose alone is what drives most entrepreneurs.  That in turn is what brings them the most satisfaction at the end of a long working day.

About the author

Sign up to our Newsletter