Business consultant Jeff Nock explores the purpose, metrics, and goals of social entrepreneurship efforts ranging from community development to poverty alleviation.
Said by the Institute for Social Entrepreneurs to be the art of simultaneously pursuing both a financial and social return on investment, social entrepreneurship is on the rise both in the United States and globally. Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, renowned business executive Jeff Nock—an expert in helping early-stage and mid-cap companies to achieve their visions and growth goals—provides a closer look at the concept.
According to Public Broadcasting Service’s Enterprising Ideas, a project of NOW on PBS, social entrepreneurship is an approach by start-up entrepreneurs and companies in which they fund, develop, and implement solutions that solve social, cultural, and environmental issues. “The concept,” suggests Nock, who’s based in Iowa, “can be applied to a wide range of organizations which vary not just in size, but also in terms of aims and beliefs.”
Unlike for-profit entrepreneurs who typically measure performance via business metrics such as revenues, market share, and income, social entrepreneurship efforts universally involve either not-for-profit organizations or organizations which blend for-profit goals with positive returns to society, according to Nock. “There still is a need to generate money because no money no mission, but other metrics also apply,” he adds.
Nock continues, “Common goals within social entrepreneurship endeavors range from broad social, cultural, and environmental aims to more tailored efforts tied to, for example, poverty alleviation, community development, or access to medical care.”
Social entrepreneurship, the expert believes, has, in more recent years, been massively facilitated by the internet. “Social networking, unsurprisingly, has been hugely beneficial to all manner of social entrepreneurship efforts worldwide,” says Nock, a sought-after business consultant and provider of C-level mentoring, strategic and business planning, market analysis, brand evolution, and more.
Enabling social entrepreneurs to reach often many millions of like-minded individuals, websites such as Twitter and Facebook have, he suggests, facilitated everything from collaboration and increased awareness to—via crowdfunding in particular—access to often much-needed, supplementary financial backing.
Well-known social entrepreneurship organizations include the Skoll Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Athgo, Echoing Green, and the Global Social Benefit Institute. “Each of these,” Nock explains, “promotes and provides resources intended to help advance the efforts of social entrepreneurs around the world.”
The Skoll Foundation, he goes on to reveal, was created by eBay’s first president, Jeff Skoll, and provides grants to already-established but still-growing social entrepreneurship endeavors. “A private foundation based in Palo Alto, California, the Skoll Foundation today makes grants totaling around $40 million each year,” adds Nock, wrapping up.
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing nonprofit organizations, startups, and established companies alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, budget development and oversight, sales, marketing, and presentation development, Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in leadership development.