A social entrepreneur is a businessperson whose goal is to create long-term social or environmental value—such as creating jobs for marginalized people, providing essential services to people who otherwise would not have access to them, or selling products or services that protect the environment.
Businesses run by social entrepreneurs are not charities; they manufacture or sell products and services that generate revenue and profits. However, profit is not their sole motivation, and their structure is either that of a commercial co-op or a social-purpose company.
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Social entrepreneurs can apply for “B Corp certification,” which means they meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. The certification is granted by a non-profit organization called B Lab and is similar to Fair Trade certification for coffee or LEED for energy-efficient buildings.