The Future of Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurs anxious to do good cannot always live on handouts, a group of international panelists agreed during a discussion moderated by Thunderbird Professor Robert Hisrich, Ph.D., on Nov. 14, 2013, at Thunderbird School of Global Management. A hybrid enterprise that blends a social mission with a viable commercial model is more likely to survive in turbulent times and achieve meaningful impact. “We can get caught up in how we’re going to change the world, and not how we’re going to build a business,” said Miguel Jardine ’09, one of four panelists at the Future of Social Entrepreneurship event hosted by Thunderbird’s Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship in partnership with Laureate Education.

Jardine, who joined the Arizona Commerce Authority in August 2013 to oversee the Arizona Innovation Challenge, runs a social venture that converts food waste into nutrient-rich soil for growing food with little to no water. He said having a social mission provides his motivation, but he cannot overlook business fundamentals such as finance, accounting and marketing. Other panelists included Aldo Ignacio Castillo Parra, who is developing ecologically friendly bricks in Mexico; Alicia Marseille, who founded a coffee distribution chain for Haitian famers; and Daniel Uribe, president of an NGO that is rebuilding beaches in Costa Rica. To see additional photos from the event, visit Thunderbird’s Flickr channel.

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