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Social entrepreneurship also known as
philanthropy is usually viewed as creating value for the society by combining
resources and exploiting opportunities to meet a social change or agenda. It is
usually practised by non-profit organisations and to fund charities, homes and
social cause like cancer. Our business was widely based on supporting the community
through our financial resources. So, we chose a UK charity for funding research
for cancer patients regardless of any profit we make through our services. The
reason behind choosing a charity for cancer research is to support individuals
with cancer get better treatment as the disease itself is viewed as incurable
despite of the latest technologies and research. Empirical evidence shows that
the Cancer Research UK charity spent £422.67
million on cancer research projects in 2015. The research intended to improve
the understanding of how cancer develops and spreads as well as focusing on
drug discovery and development. Moreover, the practice of social
entrepreneurship is growing with 6.6 percent population in the UK involving
activities focused on community and social goals. Entrepreneurship involve
society as a part of the business then why are current businesses and companies
are going after making profit, expanding and investing? Do they care about the
social cause and agendas or just their own benefit?

Commercial entrepreneurship aims at
creating profitable operations and private gain. Technological companies like
IBM or Apple focuses on providing value to the customer with their products and
not any social agenda now are investing in global growth and new technologies.
They require more financial capital and investment in the venture to operate
which benefits the society in the form of new good, services and jobs and can
have transformational social impact. These organisations focus on opportunity
and not the resources. However, using resources that lie within the hierarchical
control of the organisation and creating opportunity to create value for
businesses is what I learned through our business through viewing it as
commercial entrepreneurship. Our business took advantage of employees working
in businesses like Sultan of Lancaster to network with the manager and show our
proposal. Additionally, the model of commercial entrepreneurship gives rise to
social entrepreneurship through interrelated components: people, context, deal
and opportunity (Sahlman, 1996)
which also creates the basis for social
entrepreneurship. So how are these two different from each other?

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Entrepreneurial ventures can be valued
exclusively in financial terms, while Social entrepreneur ventures cannot. The
fundamental to the nature of Social entrepreneurial ventures is that they serve
a social mission that is not overshadowed by profit maximization (Mair and
Marti, 2006). Moreover, the social entrepreneurship on one hand exercise social
power and bring benefit to the society, it focuses on social returns its market
is highly affected by the economic activities and commercial enterprises. Non-profit
funds endowment funds are invested directly in the stock market and individual
contributions are tied directly to people’s level of discretionary income, it
becomes hard for social entrepreneurs to switch products or markets due to the
presence of emotional and psychological dimensions of a social problem.
Lasprogata and Cotton (2003) define social entrepreneurship in terms of
charitable non-profit organizations (as defined by the U.S. tax code) that seek
to sustain themselves financially through revenue-generating activities. In
contrast, commercial entrepreneurship tends to focus on breakthroughs and new
ideas of improvement. The companies recruit and retain best talent to employ
their resources in the market in return of social benefits. I valued my
business based on financial terms to fulfil social challenges. It does not
imply to neglect profit maximisation but to maximise the revenue to attain
social benefit of Cancer research. However, many of the social networks and opportunities
for social entrepreneurship arises from market failure within the commercial sector.
Which requires few economic resources and have less consumption alternatives. On
the other hand, have limited access to talent and financial resources which
hinders their ability to achieve ambitious goals.

A social entrepreneur should therefore keep
in mind the mission and strategy towards their goals with the financial and
human resources in hand. Whereas commercial enterprise should invest more in sector
level capacity and encourage their competitors to grow towards a shared social
mission rather than being primarily concerned with their own market share. Hence,
connecting the social and commercial entrepreneurship towards the same goal of
creating a better social value through different means. In my opinion, this entrepreneurial
view makes an individual more open towards the social problems faced by the
society even while running the most profitable businesses. In our business model,
social entrepreneurship of Cancer Research UK played a big role in getting
clients interested in the service of flyer distribution, giving us social
agenda to fulfil and the businesses to be a part of it.

In the end, our business didn’t create any
social or economic value for our consumers but came to understand the
importance of such distinction between social and commercial entrepreneurship.
In my opinion, both require resources and support from the people and a good
understanding of the market. However, I see my future aspirations in being a
part of commercial entrepreneurship as it involves managing more resources with
more competition in the market, while supporting a social cause even on a
personal level in order to expand the idea of development. For instance,
Kickstart an online crowdfunding company shows the importance of social and
commercial enterprise at one place giving people a chance to invest in an idea
leading to social or commercial development. However, the need for social and
commercial entrepreneurship will continue to rise due to new challenges faced
by people every day and improving human creativity.

 

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