List of social entrepreneurs

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A social entrepreneur is an entrepreneur who works to increase social capital, often by founding humanitarian organizations.

Historical examples of leading social entrepreneurs[edit]

  • Maria Montessori (Italy) – Developed the Montessori approach to early childhood education.
  • Florence Nightingale (UK) – Founder of modern nursing, she established the first school for nurses and fought to improve hospital conditions.
  • Margaret Sanger (U.S.) – Founder of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she led the movement for family planning efforts around the world.
  • John Woolman (U.S.) – Led U.S. Quakers to voluntarily emancipate all their slaves between 1758 and 1800, his work also influenced the British Society of Friends, a major force behind the British decision to ban slaveholding. Quakers, of course, became a major force in the U.S. abolitionist movement as well as a key part of the infrastructure of the Underground Railroad.

Present day social entrepreneurs[edit]

  • Ela Bhatt (India) – Founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) and the SEWA Cooperative Bank in Gujarat.À
  • Thinlas Chorol (India) – Founder of the Ladadakhi Women's Travel Company, which despite social norms work to bring women into, the otherwise male-dominated Ladakhi tourism industry.
  • Marian Wright Edelman (U.S.) – Founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) and advocate for disadvantaged Americans and children.
  • Harish Hande (India) – Founder of Selco India, a solar electric light company in 1995, which over the years has lit up over 120,000 households, to emerge as India's leading solar technology firm. Magsaysay Award 2011.[2]
  • Amir Alexander Hasson – Founder of First Mile Solutions and United Villages, Amir has built networks impacting the lives of millions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America is currently an Entrepreneur In Residence at MIT and a Mentor at the Harvard iLab.
  • Jamie Oliver (U.K.) – TV chef who campaigned to improve children's diet at school. He also trained disadvantaged young people to become chefs. He created a restaurant – a social enterprise – called Fifteen which employed these newly trained youngsters. Fifteen is now a global chain of four restaurants.
  • Amitabh Shah (India) – Founder of Yuva Unstoppable, which works for 250,000 underprivileged children mobilizing 100,000 volunteers from 32 cities.