When social entrepreneurs say that they want to “work themselves out of a job” they are not making a glib statement to sound cool. They are merely stating the obvious — they want to fundamentally solve the problem that their solution is designed to address.
Commercial entrepreneurs are different. They’re out to standardize a business model. That model might solve a social problem — but if it’s profitable and doesn’t fix the problem, that’s okay, too.
As a result, social entrepreneurs are more interested in understanding the social, economic, political, and cultural context of the problems they are trying to solve than traditional entrepreneurs are. They can be more analytical.
It is unthinkable, for instance, to imagine a social entrepreneur treating research on the health effects of tobacco use the way the tobacco industry, market analysts, and investors did in the 1960s and ’70s. It is the business of a