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 […]

The Past, Present, and Future of Social Entrepreneurship

By Katherine Fulton and J. Gregory Dees In February 2006, New Profit Inc. hosted a Gathering of Leaders at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York. There, a group of visionary social entrepreneurs, along with leaders from business, policy, academia, and philanthropy, participated in a dialogue to create an action agenda addressing our nation’s […]

Entrepreneurship in Philanthropy

By J. Gregory Dees Entrepreneurship occurs in all spheres of productive human endeavor, including philanthropy. It is the major force for progress. In this article, Dees addresses what it means to be an entrepreneur in philanthropy and outline a range of entrepreneurial strategies in philanthropy. CASE, 2005 Article_Dees_EntrepreneurshipinPhilanthropy_2005

Social Entrepreneurs and Education

By J. Gregory Dees Commentary on issue of CICE devoted to the topic of social entrepreneurs and education:  “The work presented [in this issue of CICE] should advance our thinking about social entrepreneurship in general, not just in the world of education. The four papers that made it into this issue are encouraging and thought […]

Sector Bending: Blurring the Lines between Nonprofit and For-Profit

By J. Gregory Dees and Beth Battle Anderson Traditional sector boundaries are increasingly breaking down. On small and large scales, for-profits and nonprofits are moving into new territories and exploring uncharted waters. While this kind of sector-bending is not entirely new–remember Goodwill Industries or Girl Scouts Cookies–it is certainly growing in popularity. Increasingly we are […]

Scaling Social Impact

By J. Gregory Dees, Beth Battle Anderson and Jane Wei-Skillern Arguing that social entrepreneurs have commonly sought to spread or “scale out” their innovations by replicating or “scaling up” their organizations, this article offers a framework for a larger set of pathways from which to choose. The authors encourage social entrepreneurs to consider different ways […]

Scaling Social Impact: Strategies for Spreading Social Innovations

By J. Gregory Dees, Beth Battle Anderson and Jane Wei-Skillern How can social entrepreneurs effectively scale their impact to reach the many people and communities that could benefit from their innovations? As policy expert and author Lisbeth Schorr observed: “We have learned to create the small exceptions that can change the lives of hundreds. But […]

Putting Nonprofit Business Ventures in Perspective

By J. Gregory Dees In the lead chapter in a “how-to” manual for social enterprise produced by the Yale-Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures, Greg Dees lays out cautionary words about the challenges, costs, and risks associated with nonprofit business ventures and provides careful guidance on writing and implementing a business plan for a […]

Social Entrepreneurship is About Innovation and Impact, Not Income

By J. Gregory Dees Despite efforts to spread an innovation-based definition, far too many people still think of social entrepreneurship in terms of nonprofits generating earned income. This is a dangerously narrow view. It shifts attention away from the ultimate goal of any self-respecting social entrepreneur, namely social impact, and focuses it on one particular […]

Scaling Social Impact: Strategies for Spreading Social Innovations

By J. Gregory Dees and Beth Battle Anderson This presentation provides guidance for addressing the challenge of “scaling out” – spreading social sector innovations into new geographic locations in order to achieve greater impact.  In addition to offering a four-stage strategic decision making process, this document provides guidance on what and how to scale out, […]