Yesterday in my IAP course on social entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan a student asked an interesting question. He asked:
"Should I be a social entrepreneur or an entrepreneur who supports corporate social responsibility?"
My approach to teaching social entrepreneurship is to emphasize entrepreneurship and look at the poor or disadvantaged as a market. This logic parallels the thinking and writing of CK Prahalad, who popularized the phrase "the bottom of the pyramid". (More on Prahalad is here.
My answer to the student was to "follow their passion". Entrepreneurship in all forms requires a passionate founder who overcomes to achieve the objective. Passion is what sustains the ongoing effort. If the passion is to help children or help the disenfranchised then one probably chooses social entrepreneurship. If one is more oriented toward solving a big problem or growing a big company then one probably opts for entrepreneurship with corporate social responsibility.