Altering the terms of social enterprise

Senscot is an acronym for Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland, which is my day job. Unavoidably, I get drawn into discussions about who is and is not a social entrepreneur (groan). My view is that we should keep it vague. Sigmund Freud didn't say that the human psyche comprises an ego, an id and a superego. He said it may be useful to think 'as if' it is so. Still, today's psychologists mean different things by these terms. Similarly it may be useful to think 'as if' there is a group of people whose behaviour is sufficiently alike to categorise them as social entrepreneurs (SEs). But this term should be considered descriptive not prescriptive. Things like formal charitable status are different. If there are fiscal benefits, a precise definition is appropriate, but SE is just a new term for those generous individuals who have always existed and who are motivated to make the world better.

by Laurence Demarco, director of Senscot, laurence@senscot.net

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