Essential Skills & Qualities of a Social Entrepreneur

In order to achieve our 17 Sustainable Development Goals and make the ambitious Vision 2030 come true, we all need to take action as individuals. As such, it is essential to learn about the future trends of development and how people are trying to tackle the problems we are facing. A social entrepreneur is someone who is committed to finding a solution to a community-based problem. While they are motivated by the potential to earn a profit, it doesn’t prevent them from the vision that they have. They are willing to take the risk and put in the effort to create a positive impact on the community. In order to make their visions come true, it is integral for a social entrepreneur to have these skills and qualities:

  • Critical thinking

  • Public speaking

  • Resilience

  • Innovative

  • Leadership

Critical thinking

Social entrepreneurship starts with identifying a problem. Before social entrepreneurs can start their business, they need to address a problem that they want to resolve and put it as their vision. It is important for social entrepreneurs to identify the problems that they are looking to combat against. Not only does it provide the business with a mission that they want to carry out but it would also aid in the process of pinning down business opportunities. For example, if you are concerned about the increasing amount of plastic products that we release every year into the ocean, you may establish a business that utilises these plastic products to create something that you could sell to others. 

Public speaking

Acting for social causes and trying to change the world around you is a great thing to do. However, in order to enact your vision and persuade others, it is crucial for social entrepreneurs to be able to communicate effectively. To create a change and become the catalyst to social development, you need to inspire those around you. It is no easy job to motivate others towards a cause that you believe in, even when they are those who recognize the inequalities or problems that are present in their lives. It would not be easy for anyone to change since it requires them to get out of their comfort zone and take action. But public speaking is a tool that you can use to move people. Given how hard it is to persuade a crowd, the ability to speak confidently and clearly explain your mission is important. Provided with the ability to motivate and persuade others, it would be much easier to call for action from these people.


As a matter of fact, being a social entrepreneur has many disadvantages when it comes to resource mobilization, especially when social entrepreneurs are trying to develop the scale of their business. Given the model of business that a social enterprise is, it would be difficult for a social enterprise to compensate their staff as competitively as other commercial enterprises on the market. As such, it would be much harder for them to hire talented people to develop their business. Moreover, with a lower amount of capital, social enterprises will definitely face a problem when they are trying to expand their business. Thus resilience is crucial for those who decided to become a social entrepreneur. In addition, at the core of a social enterprise is the commitment to fight inequality or injustice. However, these goals are not easily attained so having the resilience to fight against hardships and adversity would be a major quality that social entrepreneurs need.


Sometimes, commitment is not all it takes to become a successful social entrepreneur. As social entrepreneurs are those who devoted themselves while taking risks to follow their visions and tackle problems that they are focused on, they would also need to find a “new” solution to these problems. Just as the people say “Desperate times call for desperate measures”. While we are not desperate, the problems that many social entrepreneurs are trying to solve is not an easy goal. Thus having an innovative mindset would definitely be a big help to their process of coming up with a solution that would benefit their cause while making a profit for themselves.


Last but not least, a social entrepreneur needs to have leadership. Aside from their own benefit and addressing problems that need to be solved, a social entrepreneur is still running a business. Other than the skills and quality above, social entrepreneurs need to be a leader so that they can include everyone into their initiatives and help others develop to expand their business and essentially make more impacts on the community around them. Moreover, a leader would be a perfect role model to inspire others and motivate them to make a change and join initiatives that these social entrepreneurs are leading. Without the help from others, we can’t deal with community-based issues that entrepreneurs are looking at. Thus being a leader that can lead others and motivate them to participate in making a change for the better would be integral.

Essentially, social entrepreneurs need to have a clear grasp of the world around them in order to identify the problems that they want to focus on as well as thinking of a solution to these problems. Thus, having a good knowledge of the world around you would be beneficial to your future if you want to make a positive change to your community. To learn more, have a look at TGC’s website and check out our social entrepreneurship programmes.

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