Social Entrepreneurs, Social Intrepreneurs, and Socially Responsible Entrepreneurs

Focus on personal characteristics allows a broader interpretation of “social entrepreneurs” and where they operate. Just as it is suggested that some managers in traditional organizations develop “an entrepreneurial mindset”, one can be argue that there is a “social entrepreneurial mindset”: social entrepreneurs approach challenges based on a variety of factors and find unique solutions. From such a perspective, social entrepreneurial behavior and approaches can take place both within traditional businesses and in organizations that have been established as social enterprises by the social entrepreneur. As such, people with “socially entrepreneurial mindsets” are categorized. Social Entrepreneurs establish new organizations, described in this chapter as social enterprises or socially entrepreneurial enterprises, to achieve social goals. “Social Intrepreneurs” work as change agents within companies, applying socially entrepreneurial behaviors to achieve solutions to social and environmental problems (The Social Intrapreneur: A Field Guide for Corporate Changemakers). While the current chapter focuses on Social Entrepreneurs, the role of social intrapreneurs should not be overlooked. Social Intrepreneurs, applying entrepreneurial innovation to address social challenges and drive corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs within traditional companies, are significant. A third distinct group of entrepreneurs concerned with social issues are Socially Responsible Entrepreneurs. Crnogaj, Rebernik, Hojnik, and Gomezelj (2014) identified socially responsible entrepreneurs as a distinct group of entrepreneurs, separate from social entrepreneurs per se and posit that destinations seeking to achieve sustainable tourism goals needs entrepreneurs who show concern for triple bottom line issues.

In tourism, the role of personal traits and behaviors, including passion for specific social and environmental issues, and the influence of those individuals on businesses’ adoption of socially responsible action is evident. From corporate founders who adopt socially responsible positions to hotel general managers finding entrepreneurial ways to address social issues to entry level managers creating grassroots social or environmental projects, social intrapreneurs have driven ‘green’ and “social” advances in the industry. One should note that the focus on personal characteristics can be superficial and reality is frequently far more nuanced. The insights provided by Tourism SEs, Gopinath Parayil of Blue Yonder, and Inir Pinheiro of Grassroutes (Chapter “Heroic Messiahs or Everyday Businessmen? The Rhetoric and the Reality of Social Entrepreneurship in India”), shed light on the rhetoric associated with “heroic” social entrepreneurs.

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