Thursday, February 15, 2007

The School for Social Entrepreneurs

Being part of the Nonprofit Blog Exchange is kind of like Secret Santa for bloggers. Every few months or so the organizer asks members of the Exchange if they would like to write a post about another blogger writing about nonprofit-related themes. If you say yes, a few days later an email arrives with the name of a blog for you to profile.

For this Exchange, I was giving the School for Social Entrepreneurs blog from the School for Social Entrepreneurs written by Nick Temple, SSE's Network Director. Before coming to the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Nick was the Director of the Global Ideas Bank, "an online democratic think-tank devoted to social innovation: creativity for social benefit."

Here's a little blurb about the school:
The School for Social Entrepreneurs exists to provide training and opportunities to enable people to use their creative and entrepreneurial abilities more fully for social benefit. We also want to recruit more innovative and capable people into voluntary and other organisations.

The school was founded in 1997 by Michael Young (Lord Young of Dartington), a social innovator who'd previously launched the Consumer Association, the Open University and around 40 other organisations.

Following successful Millennium Awards programmes around the UK, the SSE is now expanding outside its base in Bethnal Green, London, and supporting the establishment of local schools across the country.
Most recently Nick did a roundup of awards for entrepreneurs and linked to a fun looking website called CareerShifters. He also wrote an interesting post in response to the Shaftesbury Partnership's response to his response to their post about system social entrepreneurs vs. community social entrepreneurs.

I'd never heard of social entrepreneurs being divided into these two categories.

The community entrepreneur is defined as being: "people-orientated, and possess significant local political and social capital - enough for reforms and new ideas to really take route [sic] in their communities. This does not mean they cannot at the same time then build scaleable initiatives, but there is ultimately a localness about the community entrepreneur related to the number of people they can genuinely and personally influence"

The system entrepreneur is defined as being, "opposite in temperament - their inclination is to really understand the systemic problems to be addressed and then identify the key solutions to them in a top down fashion, but aware that part of the solution must involve the inclusion of community entrepreneurs if the initiative is to succeed and culture change is to be brought about"

If you are a nonprofit blogger, or write a blog about nonprofit-related things, and would like to be introduced to a new blog a few times a year, be sure to join the Nonprofit Blog Exchange.

Photo of Nick Temple taken from The School of Social Entrepreneurs Extranet.


  1. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Thanks Britt: see here for the vice versa post on my blog....I promise I'll get a new photo soon as well....

  2. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Hi Britt,

    Just wanted to say Nick looks much worse in the flesh than this photo...

    Oh, and thanks for the mention of Careershifters. We are trying to do good and definitely having fun doing it :-)

    Just spent a good period of time reading various posts on your blog - there's some fascinating stuff. Keep up the good work!



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