Social Entrepreneurs: The Future of the Economy

At this point, millennials’ love affair with entrepreneurship is common knowledge. Roughly two-thirds aspire to it, and about 18 percent actually do it. Many people are now referring to it as the “new American Dream.”

Business is good, too. This year, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of millennial-owned businesses reported increased sales, according to the most recent Spark Business Barometer survey. Comparatively, 41 percent of small business owners overall had increased sales.

But for this generation, it’s about more than a house, two kids and a dog.

“Like other young generations before them, they are idealistic,” says Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, “but what sets this generation apart is they are turning their idealism into action.”

Enter the biggest movement in business: social entrepreneurship. This is where innovation, opportunity and resourcefulness meet to create social change—and experts increasingly say it’s the forefront of the new economy. And this isn’t just Toms Shoes or other companies that incorporate charity into their business models; social entrepreneurs build companies that influence social change through their processes, not just their products.

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The appeal for millennials is evident. Already, better than 85 percent of twentysomethings make purchasing decisions—and decide their willingness to recommend a brand—based on the social good a company is doing, according to Entrepreneur. And one recent survey by Deloitte shows 77 percent chose their workplace “because of the company’s sense of purpose.”

Starting those companies only makes sense.

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