Similar Titles

Impact Entrepreneur, Social Innovator, Sustainable Business Leader, CSR Manager (Corporate Social Responsibility Manager), Social Enterprise Manager, Nonprofit Entrepreneur, Impact Investment Analyst, Social Venture Capitalist, Ethical Business Consultant, Community Development Specialist

Job Description

A social entrepreneur, therefore, is a person who explores business opportunities that have a positive impact on their community, in society or the world. 

Education and Training Needed
  • There are no cookie-cutter educational paths for Social Entrepreneurs. A bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or economics, can be helpful. An MBA is even better!
  • Common courses include budgeting, finance, accounting, marketing and sales, project management, leadership, and communication 
  • Many students who don’t want to do a bachelor’s (or who already have one in another field) take business classes at community colleges or through sites like edX, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning
    • Harvard Business School Online offers many free eBook resources 
  • Sometimes Social Entrepreneurs are eager to just “get out there and do things,” but it is important to understand that their business models are “for-profit.” Thus, a strong business foundation is essential, no matter how that education is obtained
    • Investopedia warns that “20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years.”
  • Social Entrepreneurs must understand their target customers and how to best engage them via social platforms. Popular apps and sites include TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, Reddit, and Quora 
  • Digital marketing bootcamps such as Harvard’s Digital Marketing Strategy or Udacity’s Digital Marketing Course can help with spreading your message effectively 
  • Programs like HubSpot, Sprout Social, Google Analytics, and Tapinfluence can boost user engagement so your business can blossom! 
  • At some point you may need to hire employees and must learn how to:
    • get an EIN (employer identification number)
    • register with the labor department
    • buy worker’s comp insurance
    • establish payroll and tax withholdings and other tax forms such as W-4s and I-9s
    • ensure employee eligibility to work
    • ensure fair hiring practices
    • display required employee’s rights notices
    • set up a safe workplace
    • provide workers with access to applicable company policies
    • manage personnel records, and establish benefits programs 
  • Social Entrepreneurs should learn about whatever product or service they plan to market! This may necessitate completing a degree in a relevant field, in addition to any business studies
Things to do in High School and College
  • Social Entrepreneurs must become experts in the product or service they want to offer, as well as experts in how to market their offerings, grow their business, and manage employees 
  • Consider the social problem(s) you want to address, and how your product or service can achieve a meaningful impact
  • Enroll in English, math, accounting, finance, marketing, business courses, and speech
  • Other helpful courses may include graphic design, mass communication, social media marketing strategy, and digital advertising
  • Volunteer as a budget or resources officer with your school or other organizations. Try to tackle larger projects where you can learn about project management, leadership, teamwork, and conflict resolution
  • Learn to use digital tools for accounting, financial management, Client Relationship Management, workflow automation, file sharing, and risk assessment 
  • Launch a website and establish your social media presence. Study SEO, Search Engine Marketing, and analytic tools 
  • Apply for business-related intern jobs to gain work experience
  • Ask successful Social Entrepreneurs for advice or mentorship. If you’re in college, scan through your alumni network to see if there are potential connections
  • Read up on the most successful Social Entrepreneurs
  • Grow your LinkedIn influence by writing and sharing articles 
  • Keep your personal social media posts very professional. Be mindful of public perception as you hone your brand’s image and reputation
  • Consult a personal branding expert who can help you present yourself how you want customers to see you 
  • Comb through the resources available from the Small Business Administration. If you’re a military veteran, visit the SBA’s Veteran-owned business section
  • Learn about Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists who might be needed to boost your launch
  • Read about socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social, and governance (ESG)
How to Get Started
  • Business internships are a great way to get experience before launching your own enterprise 
  • Since Social Entrepreneurs are self-employed, there isn’t a job to land, per se. You’ll be your own boss, so be ready to put in the hours to develop a rock-solid business plan that lenders or investors can get behind
  • It can take months or even years to launch a successful, socially-conscious enterprise, so have a plan to stay afloat and pay your own bills as you progress
  • Some Social Entrepreneurs create an original product or service to tackle a social problem. This route can take a long time to research and develop. Others modify or borrow ideas from existing products and services. Each route comes with its own timeline and up-front costs
  • Do diligent research! Study which social needs can be addressed through a product or service that can also turn a profit for your company. Be objective and realistic 
  • When applicable, see how others have faired attempting to do what you want to try. Learn from their mistakes
  • Decide if you want to run a local, statewide, national, or international company. Keep in mind, anything beyond the state level will require additional business licenses and will carry different tax implications
  • Consult a small business lawyer! Most small businesses have some type of customer (even if the customers are also small businesses or other types of organizations). You must carefully consider how your product or service could potentially cause liability risk
  • Once you launch your enterprise, engage the services of a Social Media Specialist, if the budget allows. Startups must grow relatively fast to survive. That requires raising awareness of your brand, which typically requires spending money
Recommended Resources


  • 500 Hats
  • Acumen
  • AllBusiness
  • AllThingsD
  • AngelList Venture
  • AudienceBloom
  • Brazen
  • B The Change
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Business Owners Toolkit
  • Causeartist
  • Chic CEO
  • Copyblogger
  • Crunchbase
  • Design Sponge Biz Ladies
  • Devex
  • Dutiee
  • EpicLaunch
  • Escape from Cubicle Nation
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Forbes
  • ForbesWomen
  • For Entrepreneurs
  • Forte Foundation
  • Google Analytics
  • Harvard Business Review
  • HubSpot
  • Inc. Magazine 
  • Investopedia
  • Mashable
  • Medium
  • Microsoft
  • Mixergy
  • Neil Patel’s KISSmetrics
  • NextBillion
  • Noobpreneur
  • OneVest
  • Paul Graham
  • Pioneers Post
  • ProBlogger
  • QuickSprout
  • Quora
  • Reddit:startups
  • SaaStr
  • SBA’s Veteran-owned business section
  • School for Social Entrepreneurs
  • Small Business Administration
  • Social Change Central
  • Social Enterprise Alliance
  • Social Good Stuff
  • Social Media Examiner
  • Sprout Social
  • Startup Company
  • Startup Donut
  • Tapinfluence
  • Tara Gentile
  • The BOSS Network
  • The Guardian
  • Under30 CEO
  • VentureBlog



Online Courses and Tools