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Becoming a Mission-Driven Social Entrepreneur: Key Characteristics

5 Social Entrepreneurship Characteristics for Success

Social entrepreneurship is a rapidly growing field creating sustainable solutions to address various societal and environmental challenges. Although social entrepreneurship is a bit different than its traditional form, at its core, it is all about using the same business principles but creating social value and a positive impact instead. While pretty much anyone can become a social entrepreneur, it takes unique skills and qualities to succeed.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top characteristics of successful social entrepreneurs and how you can develop them to help you launch and succeed with your own social business. From passion and innovation to resilience and collaboration, we’ll cover everything you need to know to create a mission-driven social enterprise that can make a real difference to the world.

So, whether you’re just getting started or looking to improve your relevant social entrepreneurship skills, read on to discover the characteristics many successful social entrepreneurs seem to possess.


Being passionate about something is among the top characteristics needed in social entrepreneurship. It is defined as an intense and unwavering enthusiasm for a social cause that motivates them to keep going despite the hurdles.

Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach For All, and Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, are examples of social entrepreneurs who, driven by their passion, have positively impacted local communities worldwide.

Before starting a journey in social entrepreneurship, you should identify your values and passions. To do so, seek opportunities to get involved with organizations whose mission aligns with your interests. If you manage to create a profit-making business that, at the same time, allows you to pursue your passions is the easiest way to make a positive impact in the world.

Innovation and Creativity

Innovation and creativity are qualities successful social entrepreneurs possess. Innovation refers to the ability to identify new solutions to social problems, while creativity is the generation and execution of ideas leading to positive change.

Examples of innovative and creative famous social entrepreneurs are Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank or else called Bank for the Poor, and Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of Acumen Fund.

If you would like to foster your innovation and creativity skills to help your social enterprise grow, consider taking risks, seeking diverse perspectives, and embracing failure as a learning opportunity. These actions can help you develop a new system for solving social problems and bringing about meaningful change.

Resilience and Perseverance

Resilience and perseverance are essential characteristics for social entrepreneurs to succeed in facing challenges and setbacks. Being resilient means being able to bounce back from any adversity, while perseverance means pursuing your chosen social mission.  

Trying to think of a social entrepreneur with demonstrated resilience and perseverance, Jeff Swartz, CEO of Timberland, is among the first to come to mind. Fuelled by his vision, he proved that commercial business and justice are not antithetical notions.  

To become more resilient and perseverant, consider developing a growth mindset. That way, you can stay true to your social mission and overcome all obstacles.


Collaboration is another crucial characteristic of successful social entrepreneurs. It enables social entrepreneurs to leverage others’ strengths for a more significant impact. It also means collaborating with other individuals or organizations to achieve shared goals and solve social problems.  

To build effective partnerships in your social business, identify complementary strengths, establish clear goals and communication channels, and maintain trust and transparency. Building effective collaborations can multiply your impact and achieve greater social value.

Business Acumen

Business acumen is understanding and applying fundamental business principles to drive growth and sustainability in a social enterprise. It is a crucial skill for social entrepreneurs, as it allows them to be more strategic in their decisions and, thus, improve in areas like the financial management of a business and create long-term value.

To develop your business skills for social entrepreneurship, you can seek mentorship and training opportunities, network with other entrepreneurs, and stay updated with your industry’s trends and best practices.


Successful social entrepreneurs possess unique characteristics, setting them apart from other business people. These characteristics may include a deep passion for their mission, the ability to innovate and think creatively, strong resilience and perseverance, a collaborative mindset, and solid business acumen. Developing these traits is essential for all aspiring social entrepreneurs to make a lasting impact and create meaningful social value.

Starting working on improving these characteristics, social entrepreneurs can increase the chances of success for their businesses and create social value. Cultivating these characteristics today can prove the first step to a mission-driven journey in social entrepreneurship if you are passionate about providing social value. To get started, stay tuned with the Didactic Mine EU project. Together with our partners, we want to improve the entrepreneurial mindset of youth with a focus on sustainable development.

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