At SoapBox Soaps, we’re social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship, a hybrid between making profits and improving society, differs from entrepreneurship in key ways. By definition, social entrepreneurship places a premium on improving society over maximizing profits. Herein lies the difference between ‘entrepreneurship’ and ‘social entrepreneurship’: the reason why each was created and their upmost mission.
Social entrepreneurship ventures are created for the purpose of transforming societies at large, rather than maximizing their profit margin, (as is typical in classic models of entrepreneurship). Both forms characteristically emphasize creative, non-traditional strategies, but only when entrepreneurship shifts focus does it become a social endeavor. That entails taking on the goal to transform social capital in a way that affects society.
Socially conscious business opens up a vast array of practices, including philanthropists, social activists, environmentalists, companies of all types and other socially oriented practitioners who use a variety of resources to bring societies into a better state of well-being.
Of the social entrepreneurs working from various practices and backgrounds, they share a common sense of thinking outside the box and connecting broader theories. All recognize immediate social problems of some sort, but do not accept the traditional approach for aiding their cause. Instead, they seek to understand solutions in a broader context, their approaches cross disciplines, fields, and theories.
The French economist Jean-Baptiste Say, defines an entrepreneur as a person who undertakes an idea and shifts perspectives in a way that alters the effect that an idea has on society. Innovation when applied to any given social cause is classified as social entrepreneurship.
A frequent challenge for social entrepreneurship missions is becoming sustainable and effective. Understanding a problem is only half of the battle. The other half is creating and executing a plausible solution. Without that, the intended positive change will never occur. Many times social entrepreneurs may succeed on a micro-level, but struggle with growing globally. This may trace back to the strength that first enabled its success: fully understanding a situation from every possible angle and applying pertinent positive changes. No matter the social issue, cultural and locational fluctuations exist across societal boundaries. These in turn affect what positive change entails in each given region.
At SoapBox our goal is to use soap as our way of impacting the world. Soap=Hope is more than a slogan, it’s the heartbeat of our mission.