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What is Social Entrepreneurship? Several Things!

Social entrepreneurship is one of the new “hot” terms that has entered the small business lexicon in 2016 following its use by nonprofit and charitable groups to adopt the best practices from industry.  Wikipedia answers the questionwhat is social entrepreneurship” this way: “the attempt to draw upon business techniques and private sector approaches to find solutions to social, cultural or environmental problems.”

What is Social Entrepreneurship in the Workplace?
Many small business owners have also adopted the term to mean the social capital they enjoy as a result of sharing office space with other entrepreneurs who face similar challenges and opportunities.  The “social entrepreneurship” that results from being in close proximity – the “around the water cooler” discussions of their parent’s generation – with one another stimulates new ideas and encourages collaboration.  Others find that being next to other business owners actually helps their clients in ways they might not have imagined.

The best serviced office space operators actively encourage social entrepreneurship to take place by getting to know their clients individually and skillfully introducing them to others in the same building who share common interests or who might simply find value in knowing one another.

One center manager related how he facilitated the meeting of a new client – an employment attorney starting her own practice – with a social worker who had been at the location for several years. It quickly became clear that many of the issues the social workers clients dealt with were concerns the attorney was well versed in. An opportunity soon arose when a client of the social worker shared concern over what he felt were in inappropriate job demands that, if not followed, might cause him to lose his job. The social worker quickly brought in her office neighbor, the employment attorney, who reassured the employee that the demands were not only inappropriate, but illegal, and that she could provide the advice and support he needed.

What is Social Entrepreneurship in the Conventional Sense?
Wikipedia also reports that “conventional entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit, revenues and increases in stock prices, but social entrepreneurs also take into account a positive “return to society”.”   Small business owners in serviced office settings are often keen to have their personal social values reflected at their place of business and are attracted to locations where charities are supported and there is a culture of helping out those who are less fortunate. Liberty Office Suites, with locations in Montville and Parsippany, New Jersey, is one such location. Center manager Donna Darlington says that each of their locations chooses a worthy cause to promote every month and encourages their clients and visitors to make a small donation. The total amount raised each month for the charity is matched by Liberty Office Suites owners so that a meaningful total amount is raised.  

Answering the question, “what is social entrepreneurship?”, Darlington says these efforts are something all their clients really value. “We hear them talking about the monthly charity in the lobby or over lunch, and they enjoy reading the thank you notes we display on the counter. It makes all of us feel that we’re working for more than just ourselves, and we are working to make our community a better place. Your place of work should share your values and a place like Liberty Office Suites will do just that!”

What is social entrepreneurship? Come visit or call us to find out: Liberty Office Suites, phone: 973-575-6080.


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