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Social Entrepreneurs: How to Change the World Through Business

Social EntrepreneursI love to read, but am lucky if I have time to finish even one book a month. Fortunately, I can “cheat” and listen to author interviews on the radio or via podcasts, and I just listened to an engaging interview with Pamela Hartigan, the founding partner of the yet-to-be-launched Volans Ventures and the founding director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, about her new book titled The Power Of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World.

The podcast is part of Stanford Social Innovation Review‘s “Design for Change” series, and I recommend that you listen to it. But if even that shortcut is too much for you, I’ll give you a couple of highlights.

Stanford Social Innovation Review

One topic of the book is a description (and case studies) of various types of social entrepreneurs, which range among three basic types:

Leveraged Non-Profit — An organization structured as a not-for-profit, which is dependent upon grants and loans, but also leverages all sorts of partnerships and is truly sustainable (example: Teach For America)

Hybrid Model — There is an earned-income component contributing to a non-profit organization

Social Business — What Mohammed Yunus has led and advocated for: An organization that is set up a business but is specifically formed around the goal of transforming society.

In addition to showing the tremendous innovation among forms of organizations and the various ways business and social causes can be combined, Pamela Hartigan also discusses her work as founding director of the Schwab Foundation–the very early days of applying business principals to nonprofit organizations. Yes, it wasn’t so long ago that it was unheard of.

Listen to the podcast, and then go out and make some change!

Written by Leah Edwards

A strategy and marketing consultant, Leah enjoys highlighting the efforts of, and providing information for, social entrepreneurs. In her consulting practice, she works with cause-related businesses and enlightened investors--to see people succeed at doing good for the planet and local communities while doing good for themselves.

Leah has a B.S. in business from UC Berkeley and an MBA and Certificate of Public Management from Stanford University. More information at


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