Social Entrepreneurs Are Creating New Types of Organizations to Pursue Social Goals
Each year a growing number of “social entrepreneurs” start new ventures that address important social needs and issues. These new enterprises are often organized as nonprofit organizations that combine traditional approaches for generating revenue with the pursuit of social goals. The issues they have focused on range from health care delivery, to increasing access to education, to improving agricultural efficiency. Some experts predict that these types of social ventures represent the new way of doing business.
One indication of the influence of these new types of organizations is Forbes magazine’s annual list of 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs. Each year 30 of the most innovative new social ventures are featured in the article. For example, Kiah Willams left the Clinton Foundation to start SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine). The organization works with health care systems to distribute unused prescription drugs (that would otherwise be destroyed) to patients who can’t afford to pay for the drugs. “We’re like the Match.com for unused drugs,” explains Williams.
Teach For America is another example of a creative nonprofit organization. Launched by college senior Wendy Kopp, Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. Each year more than 10,000 corps members teach 750,000 students.
These examples illustrate how organizations are changing to create value for a broad range of constituents by addressing the needs and challenges of society.
What Is Strategy?
An organization has limited human, financial, technological, and other resources available to produce and market its offerings—it can’t be all things to all people! Every organization must develop strategies to help focus and direct its efforts to accomplish its goals. However, the definition of strategy has been the subject of debate among management and marketing theorists. For our purpose, strategy is an organization’s long-term course of action designed to deliver a unique customer experience while achieving its goals. All organizations set a