Social entrepreneur. Engagement consultant.
It is one of the perennial debates of social enterprise. Making ‘serious’ amounts of money out of social enterprise, so goes the argument, is a moral hazard and creates major conflicts of interest. Does it encourage mission drift and prioritise profit over purpose? Moreover this greedy Gordon Gecko world-view is what got the global economy into such trouble – isn’t social enterprise supposed to be a fairer, more sustainable way of doing business?
Yet why shouldn’t social entrepreneurs and their investors, seek financial reward for the hardwork, commitment and risks they take to create social ventures? Aren’t they more deserving of reward than conventional entrepreneurs? Finding investors who are willing to back high-risk, early-stage social ventures is tricky – why make it even harder by dictating what returns they can and can’t make?