In this episode, Jerrid and Courtney ponder the cost of social value, one of the core tenets of social entrepreneurship—the other being wealth creation. As a springboard for the conversation, Jerrid refers to Certo and Miller’s “Social Entrepreneurship: Key issues and concepts” which defines social value as having little to do with profit. Instead, social value is the fulfillment of long-standing needs such as food, water, and medical attention.
The hosts acknowledge how often they take comforts such as the Internet and electricity for granted because they are so readily accessible. Jerrid recalls a time when this was not the case. During the infamous 2004 hurricane season, Orlando was hit with three consecutive hurricanes. In addition to dealing with damaged homes, many people had to cope without water and electricity for days. This experience gave Jerrid a small taste of the hardships people face daily around the globe and further motivated him to help people facing social inequality.
For Courtney, the library is a perfect extension of social value. The magnitude of its resources and outreach strive to place everyone on an even playing field. In fact, in the aftermath of the Orlando hurricanes, libraries operated as safe havens where citizens could access helpful community resources, power, and the Internet.
One critical component missing from Certo and Miller’s definition of social value is the environment. The environment is a hot button issue with today’s social entrepreneurs as they look toward sustainability and combat climate change. Having recently weathered droughts and wildfires in Florida, this issue resonates with the hosts.
Ultimately, there is no definitive formula to measure social value. Unlike wealth creation, there are no tangible sales figures or profits to show a return on investment. This presents an ongoing challenge to social entrepreneurs who must not only articulate how their organizations will benefit investors financially but also how their organizations will benefit society.
Teaching Change Shout-outs
For more information on topics discussed during the show, see the list below.
**Credit: The theme music for Teaching Change is provided by bensound.com.**