Social entrepreneurship: A not-for-profile perspective

Author: Aaron Halstead

Social Entrepreneurship: A Not-For-Profile Perspective

Aaron Halstead
27 July 2015

Halstead, A. (2015). Social Entrepreneurship: A Not-For-Profile Perspective. Executive Summary of a thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master of Professional Practice, Otago Polytechnic [PDF 85KB]


Social entrepreneurship (SE) is a challenging concept to define (Young, 1983). Its foundations are in the traditional business entrepreneurship model where innovative ideas are used to create profits, however in SE this innovation is used to find solutions to social problems and maximize gains in social satisfaction. Additionally, not-for-profit organisations may aim to generate profit but only for the purpose of increasing their social enterprise. Furthermore, SE can add extra benefit when applied in a broader context to the greater global society. Dees (1998) defines Social Entrepreneurship as combining the passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation and determination. 

Social entrepreneurship is important because it adds a level of worth or ‘social value’ to an organisation. There is growing recognition of the value of SE and increasing public expectation that organisations make a greater contribution to society. As a result, organisations are looking to quantify social value but unlike measuring corporate profits and growth, it can be difficult to measure intangibles that lead to increased social value (Dees, 1998). This Masters project thus focuses on how the concept of SE can be applied to the not-for-profit sector and what methods can be used to measure the social value of intangibles, using the example of an iconic Australian not-for-profit organisation - The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

Key word: Social Entrepreneurship.


This thesis is not publicly available. The Executive Summary is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International.

Creative Commons License