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Social Entrepreneurship: GEM 2008

GEM measured social entrepreneurship by asking entrepreneurs if they are pursuing economic goals, social goals, or both.  There were three important findings that give us a glimpse into the future of business.  First, 44% of entrepreneurs are pursuing economic and social goals concurrently and this number doubles last year’s finding.  As a result, we find that the number of entrepreneurs starting and running ventures for purely economic reasons decreased more than 30% over last year.  The social arena tends to attract a younger generation – those 18-24 years old. But the social arena is also the area where we will see significant job creation over the next five years.  Social entrepreneurs, those entrepreneurs with social and economic goals, forecast generating 42 jobs over the next 5 years while traditional entrepreneurs (those pursuing purely economic goals) will, on average, generate only 28 jobs per year.

Heidi M. Neck, Ph.D.
Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies