Entrepreneurs can change the world

There is a wonderfully articulate YouTube video you must see. It is motivating, not in a cheesy way. I saw it at a conference last year and have it bookmarked. I watch it now and then to remind me that the discipline of entrepreneurship is so powerful that it truly can change the world. Entrepreneurs are particularly good at recognizing opportunities, exploring innovative approaches, mobilizing resources, managing risks, and building viable enterprises.

Do you know who said the following words:

But taking a serious look back I do have one big regret. I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world-the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair. I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the sciences. But humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries-but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or broad economic opportunity-reducing inequity is the highest human achievement.

I left campus knowing little about the millions of young people cheated out of educational opportunities here in this country. And I knew nothing about the millions of people living in unspeakable poverty and disease in developing countries. It took me decades to find out.

Bill Gates.

He has become a social entrepreneur. One well-known contemporary social entrepreneur is Muhammad Yunus, founder and manager of Grameen Bank and its growing family of social venture businesses, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. The work of Yunus and Grameen echoes a theme among modern-day social entrepreneurs that emphasizes the enormous synergies and benefits when business principles are unified with social ventures.

Let’s not get caught up in the differences between social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship in general. The social direction drives your entrepreneurial activities toward solving issues or creating opportunities that will have a broad appeal to societal or economic issues. But it is still business!

A business can change the world.

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