Emerging business leaders are not longer interested in just “doing well” – they also want to “do good” at the same time. This is why many students enrolled in MBA programs are flocking to social entrepreneurship classes and subsequently founding social enterprises, which are organizations that use market mechanisms to fulfill a social mission.
But founding a social enterprise is not the only way to change the world. One possibility involves keeping your day job and getting involved in social intrapreneurship instead. Social intrapreneurs find creative ways to make changes within their organizations that have a powerful impact on some of the world’s toughest problems as well as on their companies’ bottom lines.
Although social intrapreneurs come from diverse backgrounds, what unites them is the ability to perceive and act on unique opportunities for their companies to serve various constituencies, including not only shareholders and employees but also society and the environment.
Examples of social intrapreneurship include developing new business models that serve base-of-the-pyramid consumers, giving small-scale farmers access to new markets, complying with organizational sustainability initiatives, designing financing structures for energy efficiency initiatives, and engaging with employees and using their creativity to solve social problems.
Although social intrapreneurs must face many challenges in implementing their ideas, if successful, they can tap into the great resources of the multinational corporations they work for and make a real difference.
– Caroline Poterio Martinez