Many countries are enamoured with the notion of social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs are
the new heroes in town and innovation and entrepreneurship is seen as a new kind of elexir for
social issues. Many governments have introduced a lot of programmes and channeled a lot of money
for young people to experiment with social entrepreneurship. But the impact created by most social
entrepreneurs is often paltry and at the end of the day it’s just an exercise in personal development
for the social entrepreneur. There are some excellent successes, but many failures.

The way I see it is that social enterpreneurship is suitable for social and environmental issues that
can be easily monetised. They are good for creating opportunities for marginalised people. But for
intervening on complex social problems social entrepreneurship tend to struggle.

Often charities that have been delivering social care are often bypassed or asked to become a for-
profit enterprise. It’s as if they are out-dated since sustainability is the buzz-word not.

But charities have a role to play, indeed an important role. Because for complex social ills, a model of
enterprise is difficult to sustain.

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