Social entrepreneurs are change makers. They are individuals who see a gap in the fabric of their community, and they attempt to use trade (selling something to a customer) as a way to address it.
The trade can be central to the idea—e.g. you start a café that only employs people who are excluded from mainstream employment. Or, you may use the surpluses from your ‘mainstream’ business to cross-subsidize some other activity for impact.
Anyone can be a social entrepreneur—a university student, a retired business person, a community volunteer, farmer, or stay at home parent or carer. Many indigenous owned businesses are also social enterprises because of their distinctive community and cultural obligations.
In our experience, social entrepreneurs can struggle to get funding because they don’t have the capacity to put together compelling business cases that are attractive to prospective social impact investors. That’s the gap we are trying to breach.