Social Entrepreneurs: Merging Profit Endeavors with a Non-Profit Mission-Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Social Entrepreneurs: Merging Profit Endeavors with a Non-Profit Mission

There are many emerging companies that blur the lines of for profit endeavor with a non-profit mission, these social entrepreneurs, as they are called, are concerned with both financial sustainability and social impact. Ian Rosenberger, founder of Thread, an East Liberty based company recycling plastic bottles in Haiti for use in the manufacturing of apparel is one of these social entrepreneurs that Tim Zak studies as Director of the Institute for Social Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University.

Zak states, "we often think of entrepreneurs as those who have a motivation for financial gain and perhaps as a nice byproduct there are some social impact, where social entrepreneurs differ perhaps is that they are still addressing the needs of people that their needs are not adequately met by existing solutions, but their primary motivation is on social impact that is financially sustainable over a long period of time."

Rosenberger has created a company that appears to fit that definition and it all started after a natural disaster. "After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, I got the chance to travel down there and while there, spent a week and fell in love with the country and people..Read more»

By: Nick Frost