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Social Entrepreneurship

Non-profit organizations exist to bring about beneficial societal change through the individuals or organizations that use their services.  This is the basis for their preferential tax treatment and the fundamental reason for their existence.  Non-profit organizations are among the fastest growing institutions in the United States.   This growth is leading to the re-emergence of the social entrepreneur.  

Recent welfare reform legislation has spawned renewed interest in social entrepreneurship.  Changes in the welfare system and welfare to work initiatives are altering our social landscape.  Community and social institutions are changing to meet these new needs and social entrepreneurs are leading this charge

Society has always had social entrepreneurs but they have not always been called by that name.  They are society’s change agents and have built many of the organizations we now take for granted.  The social entrepreneur is significantly different than the caregiver, volunteer, or nonprofit administrator.  Social entrepreneurs significantly reform or revolutionize their industries.  They seek to provide real social improvements to their beneficiaries and communities by reducing social needs rather than just meeting them.  They seek to create systemic change and sustainable improvements.

Symptoms indicating the need for
social entrepreneurship

  • Increasing community joblessness, poverty, homelessness, and crime. 

  • Increases in obesity and other health related problems in the community.

  • Increases in drug and alcohol addiction among all ages in the community.

  • Increases in stress and mental health related problems in the community.

  • Increases in dysfunctional families, child abuse, truancy, and school drop-outs.

  • Inability of government and existing social service institutions to reduce these trends.

Three Sigma's services

We coach executives of non-profit organizations how to upgrade their strategic thinking, planning, budgeting, and performance measurement skills.

We assist non-profit executives create and implement a formal and disciplined planning, budgeting, and performance measurement process for their organizations.

We assist non-profit executives develop and implement management information systems to provide the performance feed-back needed for effective management control.

We facilitate and coach strategic thinking and planning activities for non-profit organizations.

We conduct system audits to help non-profit executives diagnose problems, discover root causes and locate the critical points of leverage for corrective action.

For non-profit executives who choose to develop these skills using their own resources we developed a Strategic Thinking and Planning Workbook for Non-profit Executives to help them think through their organization's mission and formulate a strategy and plan to create the social impact they desire.  This workbook can be downloaded from this website.

Other models on this website that non-profit executives will find useful are Strategic ThinkingMaking Your Mission Operational, A Planning, Budgeting, and Performance Measurement Template, Performance Measurement 101, Scenario Planning, and Root Cause Problem Solving.

Expected results

  • Improved quality of life in the community.

  • Improved community health.

  • Increased institutional effectiveness and efficiency.

Copyright 2002 Three Sigma, Inc.