Giving Compass' Take:

• Entrepreneurs are uniquely placed to drive social movements because they bring their own experiences to an existing system and find new ways to work within it. 

• How can philanthropy and impact investing help support social entrepreneurs? What are the limits of the social change that can be created within the existing system? 

• Find out what it takes to be a successful social entrepreneur

In his introduction to this article series, DRK Foundation CEO Jim Bildner argues that early-stage social enterprises are the building blocks for profound social change. At Echoing Green, an organization that supports emerging social sector leaders, we know this is true. Our leaders play a vital role in creating social change. They spur new social movements, because they have the authenticity to do so. In short, they mine their personal experiences, hack the current system, and often anchor new social movements via a new organization that drives community action.

When we say these emerging leaders mine their personal experiences, we mean they tap into their own history and context to uncover discrete issues that cause inequity and structural disparity.

Hacking means altering the perceived limits of what is possible: how we create change and even what change is possible. Exceptional leaders at the helm of early-stage organizations can bring this new imagination to drive transformative social change.

Anchoring takes place when social entrepreneurs connect to each other and to larger social movements to create a nexus that focuses on the social condition they seek to address. Social entrepreneurs launching their enterprises often represent new, “hot” nodes in broader networks of social change, and the attraction of a fresh approach and voice provides an anchor for broader network efforts. Anchors help organize other members of the network, provide an outlet to push for new and more innovative and radical reforms, popularize novel approaches, and spur others to action.

Read the full article about the ways early-stage entrepreneurs can drive social movements by Cheryl Dorsey at Stanford Social Innovation Review.