The discussion of social entrepreneurship serves the broader purpose of illuminating how entrepreneurship is significant in dealing with social issues. In the international arena, due to a surge in non-profit organisations, social entrepreneurship has been on the rise in recent decades, although as an academic enquiry it is still emerging. Only recently has social entrepreneurship begun to coalesce into a distinct discipline, which is manifested through various dedicated institutions. Social ills have been identified as drivers of social entrepreneurship, and non-profit organisations are seen as a growing source of solutions to issues that currently plague society. The concept of social entrepreneurship is interrogated by comparing several definitions, and the different elements in these definitions are scrutinised – particularly the distinction between commercial and social entrepreneurship. Based on collective propositions on social entrepreneurship, the process is described as a catalyst for social change which varies according the socioeconomic and cultural environments. Venture philanthropy is represented as a paradigm shift from the notion that voluntary sector organisations merely receive funds from charitable donors, to the notion of earned investment through a collaborative relationship. Social venture franchising is introduced and different lessons are drawn from successful social entrepreneurship practices. Like business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs initiate and implement innovative programmes, and even though they are differently motivated, the challenges they face during start-ups are similar to those faced by business entrepreneurs. Subsequently, the different types of competencies used by successful entrepreneurs are elaborated upon. The chapter ends by investigating the different types of challenges that social entrepreneurs face.
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