Social entrepreneurship also known asphilanthropy is usually viewed as creating value for the society by combiningresources and exploiting opportunities to meet a social change or agenda. It isusually practised by non-profit organisations and to fund charities, homes andsocial cause like cancer. Our business was widely based on supporting the communitythrough our financial resources. So, we chose a UK charity for funding researchfor cancer patients regardless of any profit we make through our services. Thereason behind choosing a charity for cancer research is to support individualswith cancer get better treatment as the disease itself is viewed as incurabledespite of the latest technologies and research.
Empirical evidence shows thatthe Cancer Research UK charity spent £422.67million on cancer research projects in 2015. The research intended to improvethe understanding of how cancer develops and spreads as well as focusing ondrug discovery and development. Moreover, the practice of socialentrepreneurship is growing with 6.6 percent population in the UK involvingactivities focused on community and social goals. Entrepreneurship involvesociety as a part of the business then why are current businesses and companiesare going after making profit, expanding and investing? Do they care about thesocial cause and agendas or just their own benefit?Commercial entrepreneurship aims atcreating profitable operations and private gain. Technological companies likeIBM or Apple focuses on providing value to the customer with their products andnot any social agenda now are investing in global growth and new technologies.
They require more financial capital and investment in the venture to operatewhich benefits the society in the form of new good, services and jobs and canhave transformational social impact. These organisations focus on opportunityand not the resources. However, using resources that lie within the hierarchicalcontrol of the organisation and creating opportunity to create value forbusinesses is what I learned through our business through viewing it ascommercial entrepreneurship. Our business took advantage of employees workingin businesses like Sultan of Lancaster to network with the manager and show ourproposal. Additionally, the model of commercial entrepreneurship gives rise tosocial entrepreneurship through interrelated components: people, context, dealand opportunity (Sahlman, 1996)which also creates the basis for socialentrepreneurship. So how are these two different from each other?Entrepreneurial ventures can be valuedexclusively in financial terms, while Social entrepreneur ventures cannot.
Thefundamental to the nature of Social entrepreneurial ventures is that they servea social mission that is not overshadowed by profit maximization (Mair andMarti, 2006). Moreover, the social entrepreneurship on one hand exercise socialpower and bring benefit to the society, it focuses on social returns its marketis highly affected by the economic activities and commercial enterprises. Non-profitfunds endowment funds are invested directly in the stock market and individualcontributions are tied directly to people’s level of discretionary income, itbecomes hard for social entrepreneurs to switch products or markets due to thepresence of emotional and psychological dimensions of a social problem.Lasprogata and Cotton (2003) define social entrepreneurship in terms ofcharitable non-profit organizations (as defined by the U.S. tax code) that seekto sustain themselves financially through revenue-generating activities.
Incontrast, commercial entrepreneurship tends to focus on breakthroughs and newideas of improvement. The companies recruit and retain best talent to employtheir resources in the market in return of social benefits. I valued mybusiness based on financial terms to fulfil social challenges. It does notimply to neglect profit maximisation but to maximise the revenue to attainsocial benefit of Cancer research. However, many of the social networks and opportunitiesfor social entrepreneurship arises from market failure within the commercial sector.Which requires few economic resources and have less consumption alternatives. Onthe other hand, have limited access to talent and financial resources whichhinders their ability to achieve ambitious goals.
A social entrepreneur should therefore keepin mind the mission and strategy towards their goals with the financial andhuman resources in hand. Whereas commercial enterprise should invest more in sectorlevel capacity and encourage their competitors to grow towards a shared socialmission rather than being primarily concerned with their own market share. Hence,connecting the social and commercial entrepreneurship towards the same goal ofcreating a better social value through different means.
In my opinion, this entrepreneurialview makes an individual more open towards the social problems faced by thesociety even while running the most profitable businesses. In our business model,social entrepreneurship of Cancer Research UK played a big role in gettingclients interested in the service of flyer distribution, giving us socialagenda to fulfil and the businesses to be a part of it.In the end, our business didn’t create anysocial or economic value for our consumers but came to understand theimportance of such distinction between social and commercial entrepreneurship.In my opinion, both require resources and support from the people and a goodunderstanding of the market. However, I see my future aspirations in being apart of commercial entrepreneurship as it involves managing more resources withmore competition in the market, while supporting a social cause even on apersonal level in order to expand the idea of development. For instance,Kickstart an online crowdfunding company shows the importance of social andcommercial enterprise at one place giving people a chance to invest in an idealeading to social or commercial development. However, the need for social andcommercial entrepreneurship will continue to rise due to new challenges facedby people every day and improving human creativity.