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Advancing Social Entrepreneurship: Recommendations For Policy Makers And Government Agencies


The Aspen Institute



Advancing Social Entrepreneurship: Recommendations for Policy Makers and Government Agencies


Advancing Social Entrepreneurship introduces policymakers and leaders in government agencies to social entrepreneurship as a new way to address old problems.

Social entrepreneurship—the practice of responding to market failures with transformative, financially sustainable innovations—is uniquely positioned to help government officials address our nation’s toughest social problems more effectively. This new type of entrepreneurship combines business principles with a passion for social impact. Social-entrepreneurial initiatives can take the form of for-profits, nonprofits, or government programs, and they exhibit three core characteristics:

  • Social Innovation – funding, testing, and honing new and potentially transformative ways of approaching social problems.
  • Accountability – measuring results, continuously making improvements based on those results, and sharing performance and outcome data with stakeholders;
  • Sustainability – identifying reliable financial and other types of support by utilizing markets, forming partnerships across sectors, and responding to stakeholder needs to ensure that the solution will be enduring.
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