Before we get into what social entrepreneurs are, let's familiarize ourselves with what an entrepreneur is or enterprise:
Enterprise is the combination of attitudes and skills that helps an individual turn an idea into reality. Many people think 'if only...', but do nothing about it; entrepreneurs show the enterprise to stop dreaming and get working.For more on entrepreneurs and enterprise, I suggest you have a look at my article What is an Entrepreneur?
As in the case of Duncan Goose (read below), some people are true social entrepreneurs. The way they achieve their personal goals is through an enterprise that has a purpose other than profit-making. Yet it would be wise to be sceptical. For every one person who is a true social entrepreneur, there are probably ten who cover their financial ambitions in 'green' or charitable clothing. If 'carbon neutral' is a message that sells, many will adopt the slogan as a way to boost profit. Despite this, the fact that true social entrepreneurs exist means that it would be simplistic to suggest that all business start-ups are about making money.
Yet he was already looking ahead to his second project, One Condom. This would find HIV/AIDS projects from profits made selling condoms in the UK. Vending machines at universities would be his first target. But launching a new idea takes time and money - and he was short of both. If One Condom drained Duncan's energies and those of his staff, what might be the effect on One Water? Duncan had to make a careful assessment of whether or not to start up One Condom.