Social entrepreneurs tackling social problems

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change. Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps. Here are three social entrepreneur web sites:

Ashoka: Innovators for the Public is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs — men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981, Ashoka has elected over 1,800 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 60 countries. Ashoka's Fellows inspire others to adopt and spread their innovations - demonstrating to all citizens that they too have the potential to be powerful changemakers.

Changemakers focuses on social innovation. It describes solutions and resources needed to help people become changemakers and presents stories that explore the fundamental principles of successful social innovation around the world. Changemakers is building an online "open source" community that competes to surface the best social solutions, and then collaborates to refine, enrich, and implement those solutions. The online Changemakers's community identifies and selects the solutions and helps refine them. Changemakers's Idea Reviewers are regular contributors of commentary and analysis that ensure lively and rich online discussion. It is an initiative of Ashoka.

Social Edge is a global online community where social entrepreneurs and other practitioners of the social benefit sector connect to network, learn, inspire and share resources. It was launched in June 2003 with the mission to:
  • Connect social entrepreneurs, their partners and allies to discuss cutting-edge issues shaping the field;
  • Foster frank dialogue, mutual respect and a sense of community among all in the sector;
  • Promote learning from the best, promising and disastrous practices.
The Social Edge site strikes a balance between the visionary and the practical, with its spirited discussions and online workshops and features.

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