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Personal Growth

The Rise of Social Entrepreneurs

Starting a business is not just about making money. A growing class of individuals are helping communities prosper through market-based solutions and profiting in the mean time.

What’s the Latest Development?

A growing number of individuals are using their companies to directly benefit society while also making a profit. Many are innovating low-cost solutions to social and economic problems in the third world. For example, Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun of D.Light Design manufacture inexpensive lamps and sell them in communities that don’t have reliable electricity. Or take Tom Skazy who dropped out of Princeton to create Terracycle, which sells fertilizer and over 250 products made from 60 waste streams.

What’s the Big Idea?

A globalized communication and financial network has given rise to a new kind of entrepreneur. Some call them impact investors, others prefer social entrepreneurs, but what they have in common is trying to empower people using market-based solutions. Popularized by Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank, which were awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, social entrepreneurs take the view that risk brings reward, even on the smallest scales.

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