Social entrepreneurship is an emerging blend of nonprofit and for-profit activity, and leading-edge companies are “ethical brands” such as Tesla or Grameen Bank that favor relationships over transactions.
That is the view of Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Clinton administration official and entrepreneur who now teaches at UCLA.
Greenblatt spoke May 4 at the latest installment in California Lutheran University’s Corporate Leaders Breakfast Series.
The way to change the world, Greenblatt said, is through business, not politics. Greenblatt was a founder of Ethos Water, a company that is now owned by Starbucks and that devotes a share of its profits to water projects in developing countries.
The idea behind Ethos was to link millions of U.S. purchasers of bottled water to billions of people worldwide who lack safe drinking supplies.
The other innovation was marketing via education. Social entrepreneurship is just one aspect of “innovation that is reshaping the economy,” Greenblatt said, along with Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media.