social (software) entrepreneurs?…

Once again, Judith finds an excellent resource.

social (software) entrepreneurs?….

While performing a ‘social software’ search last evening, I found a paper that was written five years ago on ‘business’ and ‘social’ entrepreneurship.

J. Gregory Dees published this paper, on Social Entrepreneurship, for The Stanford Business School’s Center for Social Innovation. At that time he was the Entrepreneur in Residence, Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Miriam and Peter Haas Centennial Professor in Public Service, Graduate School of Business Stanford University. Currently Professor Dees is with Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

In this paper Professor Dees gives a brief history of the evolving definition of ‘entrepreneur’:


Peter Drucker: “the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” Dees goes on to interpret Drucker’s definition as: “Entrepreneurs have a mind-set that sees the possibilities rather than the problems created by change.”

Howard H. Stevenson, a leading theorist of entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, defines the heart of entrepreneurial management as “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”


In conclusion Dees states:

“Social entrepreneurship describes a set of behaviors that are exceptional. These behaviors should be encouraged and rewarded in those who have the capabilities and temperament for this kind of work. We could use many more of them. Should everyone aspire to be a social entrepreneur? No. Not every social sector leader is well suited to being entrepreneurial. The same is true in business. Not every business leader is an entrepreneur in the sense that Say, Schumpeter, Drucker, and Stevenson had in mind. While we might wish for more entrepreneurial behavior in both sectors, society has a need for different leadership types and styles. Social entrepreneurs are one special breed of leader, and they should be recognized as such. This definition preserves their distinctive status and assures that social entrepreneurship is not treated lightly. We need social entrepreneurs to help us find new avenues toward social improvement as we enter the next century.”

Based on Professor Dees definitions, both borrowed and advanced, of ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ – Who do you think are the ‘Social Entrepreneurs’ of the ‘Social Software’ movement?

[judith meskill’s knowledge notes…]

As a side comment, I continue to be amazed at the quality and the quantity of great material that Judith Meskill continues to find and share.