The Process of Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Opportunities Worthy of Serious Pursuit (Arabic translation)

Arabic translation by Mostafa Taha.

By Ayse Guclu, J. Gregory Dees and Beth Battle Anderson

All acts of entrepreneurship start with the vision of an attractive opportunity. For social entrepreneurs, an “attractive” opportunity is one that has sufficient potential for positive social impact to justify the investment of time, energy, and money required to pursue it seriously. Our model breaks the opportunity creation process into two major steps. First, a social entrepreneur generates a promising idea. Second, the social entrepreneur attempts to develop that idea into an attractive opportunity. It is natural to think of the generation step as an act of pure creativity and the development step as purely analytic and logical. However, both steps combine inspiration, insight, and imagination with research, logic, and analysis. Innovative ideas can be generated systematically, based on keen observation and reasoning, as well as creativity. At the same time, converting a promising idea into a workable and attractive opportunity requires an on-going creative process working hand-in-hand with focused analysis, experimentation, and sometimes even launching the initial stages of a venture. We depict the development step as a funnel. Social entrepreneurs add the most significant value in this stage of the process, and few promising ideas make it through the development funnel to become opportunities worth pursuing in the long-term.

CASE, 2002