Experiments in social entrepreneurship

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Wharton hopes to solve thorny development problems by recasting them as business opportunities. Ian MacMillan’s paper “Societal Wealth Creation via Experimental Entrepreneurship” reports on four pilot projects that have received seed funding. As Knowledge-@-Wharton puts it:

The idea is to promote philanthropy which supports business entrepreneurship under a for-profit model that attacks social problems and creates new societal wealth… The basic thesis is that many social problems, if looked at through an entrepreneurial lens, create opportunities to launch a business that generates profits by alleviating the initial problem," says MacMillan. "In essence, it is a shift in activity from the public domain (governments and non-governmental organizations) to the private domain (businesses and private individuals). This sets in motion a virtuous cycle: The entrepreneur is incented to generate more profits and by doing so, solves more problems.

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