Is Social Entrepreneurship Just About Jobs?

I have worked in Seattle, but I would never want to live there. I am not trying to denigrate the people that live and love Seattle; just stating my opinion that it is a little wetter and cooler than here, and it is much too crowded. Some people love Seattle, and that is ok, I just happen to like Vancouver, WA a little better.

One thing that Seattle has going for it right now is the balance of large employers, which has resulted in a 5.9% unemployment rate. This means that the Seattle economy could be considered at full employment. The Seattle area has Starbucks, Nordstrom,, Microsoft, and Boeing; all large employers who are hiring. “The secret to Seattle’s success is its mix of industries.”

Boeing seems to be leading the hiring charge at this time. With its burgeoning order books, Boeing has a lot of work. It also has a very old workforce. Subsequently, many of its employees are/will be retiring, and thus the large need for new hires. As I read the article this morning about the good times in Seattle, I began thinking about Social Entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurship in general. I kept thinking about the why, is it just to provide jobs, or is there some other more esoteric reason?

Microenterprise is about jobs, but the Entrepreneur is not one who cares as much about jobs, as she does about revolutionizing some process. Jean Batiste Say and Joseph Schumpeter both described the passion behind entrepreneurism. Say, an 18th century economist, stated that an entrepreneur is one who can see how a process is performing at a low level, but knows how to make it perform at a higher level.

Today there are many serial entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating value. It is not just about jobs, but jobs do come, it is about creating value for the market and for themselves by developing higher performing processes.

Schumpeter, another early economist, saw the entrepreneurial activity as creative destruction. Marx saw capitalism as an ultimately destructive process, Schumpeter saw the destruction as creative improvement. Building upon the ideas of Say, Entrepreneurism creates a new paradigm which eventually destroys the previous belief replacing it with the new.

The horse and buggy is replaced by the automobile; Lotus 123 is replaced with Excel; and Microsoft is replaced by Apple (this statement was made for hyperbola). History demonstrates to us the reality of Schumpeter’s creative destruction. Now we focus just on Social Enterprise. Now we are talking about the creation of businesses that revolutionize society; these social enterprises can be for-profit or not-for-profit, it doesn’t make any difference. A social entrepreneur is someone who can see the inadequacies of a current process meeting a social need, and has the passion and ability to create a new, revolutionizing process to meet that need more effectively and efficiently.

Social Entrepreneurship takes the best of business, and applies to the social need of our communities, nation, and world. I am a free marketer, and will always be a free marketer. I can see the efficiencies and deficiencies of the market. So framing free enterprise within the higher calling of social good will mitigate the obvious excesses of Capitalism.

I for one am very excited about the new major that Warner Pacific is offering, actually starting today. Here we go, using our business program to make things better. I for one am very excited.

And that is my thought for the day!








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