Giving Compass' Take:

• Gary Cohen speaks on his own experiences as a social entrepreneur that span 35 years and shares lessons he's learned along the way.

• 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. 

The organizations in the Skoll Foundation portfolio are a leading corps of global change makers. We receive awards, funding, and celebratory fanfare at the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. With this mantle comes much expectation.

On a stage in 2006, Robert Redford and Ben Kingsley gave me my Skoll Award. On my one side was the Sundance Kid; on the other side was Gandhi. Talk about pressure! Some say the social entrepreneur is supposed to ride into town on a white horse and save the world. But I don’t know how to ride a horse.

Then there’s the expectation to scale up. If you’ve educated two million girls in India, scale that to 10 million girls. If you’ve saved a third of the Amazon rainforest, scale that to the entire Amazon. If you’ve eliminated mercury thermometers from around the world—as my organization had done—then take that victory and transform the supply chain of the entire global health care sector.

Read the full article about social entrepreneurs by Gary Cohen at Skoll.