Teaching Social Entrepreneurship: An Interview With Greg Dees

By Erin Worsham Greg Dees is often referred to as the “Father of Social Entrepreneurship Education.” Over the past 20 years, he has taught social entrepreneurship courses in some of the United States’ top business schools, including Harvard, Stanford, and now at Duke. As interest in social entrepreneurship skyrockets and more universities engage in social […]

Learning Laboratory

by J. Gregory Dees Social entrepreneurs bring private resources, ingenuity, determination, business skills, and, in some cases, deep local knowledge to the problems that hold societies back. They innovate, test, and refine new approaches. Their successes and failures, once identified, are a source of valuable information about what works and what doesn’t. These social endeavors […]

Designing Your Business Model for Social Impact

By Cathy Clark and J. Gregory Dees From starting-up through scaling, social entrepreneurs are constantly redesigning their business models to increase their financial stability, efficiency and ultimate impact. Building on their global study of social entrepreneurial business models, the authors offer lessons about the best ways to navigate the redesign process. Successful change is less […]

Social Entrepreneurship: A Golden Opportunity for China to Show Global Leadership

By J. Gregory Dees Because China is a society in transition, it is well positioned to create a strong environment for social entrepreneurship. This will help China cross the bridge from rising prosperity towards more inclusive growth and greater harmony. The same drive, skills, and capabilities developed in the rapid economic expansion of the past […]

Creating Large-Scale Change: Not ‘Can’ But ‘How’

By J. Gregory Dees Scaling impact is a very serious and challenging issue, but we need a better way of framing the conversation. The author proposes three reframing steps:• Reframing step # 1: Shift from “can” to “how can”• Reframing step #2: Explore all methods for scaling impact• Reframing step #3: Accept scale as a […]

Social Ventures as Learning Laboratories

By J. Gregory Dees In this article, Greg Dees argues that, in the wake of the financial crisis, we need “entrepreneurship that creates greater long-term value while drawing on fewer resources and generating fewer destructive consequences”.  Financial pressures cause social problems to become even more pressing, and social entrepreneurs can help put us back on […]

Philanthropy and Enterprise: Harnessing the Power of Business and Social Entrepreneurship for Development

By J. Gregory Dees Social entrepreneurs and supportive philanthropists are challenging conventional assumptions by deliberately using business ventures to serve the public good. This idea of using market forces in strategic ways to promote social improvements is not new, but what is new is the openness and enthusiasm with which entrepreneurial, market-oriented approaches are being […]

Cultivate Your Ecosystem

by Paul N. Bloom and J. Gregory Dees Social entrepreneurs not only must understand the broad environment in which they work, but also must shape those environments to support their goals, when feasible. Borrowing insights from the field of ecology, the authors offer an ecosystems framework to help social entrepreneurs create long-lasting and significant social […]

Taking Social Entrepreneurship Seriously

By J. Gregory Dees The article discusses the concept of social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship emerged in the 1980s from the work of Bill Drayton that provided fund for social innovators around the world. It comes into its own in the last decade, and captures the imaginations of many thoughtful observers. It has the potential to […]

Framing a Theory of Social Entrepreneurship: Building on Two Schools of Practice and Thought

By J. Gregory Dees and Beth Battle Anderson Social entrepreneurship has been gaining momentum as an academic subject. In the past decade, numerous schools, particularly, but not exclusively, business schools, have launched new courses, programs, centers, or research initiatives embracing variations on this theme.  Even with this flurry of activity, as a field of intellectual […]