How Development Management Fuels Social Enterprises and Social Entrepreneurship

May 31, 2022

Many people have a deep interest in joining the social sector, but very few have a nuanced and informed understanding of the various aspects involved in working in it. For example, social purpose organisations that generate profit come as a surprise to most. Similarly, many may not be aware of the difference between social entrepreneurship and a social enterprise. Social enterprises, in fact, carry out a purely commercial activity, while social entrepreneurship has an underlying social objective and is not connected to profit. This article aims to unpack these similar-sounding yet starkly different terminologies ‘Social Enterprise’ and ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ and understand the role of development management in creating these.

A Social Enterprise is essentially an organisation that engages in commercial activities and looks at a profit in conjunction with improving the well-being of people or the environment. Deriving profit from this activity could be one of the motives. Social enterprises are often viewed as organisations that do not generate profits or distribute them to stakeholders. You would be surprised to know that most social enterprises make profits and reinvest them back into the organisation. The structuring of social enterprises is for-profit, non-profit, or not for profit. A social enterprise's core purpose or ethos is built on a social mission to maximise the bottom line.

Social entrepreneurship refers to initiatives made by a person or group of people. The resultant benefits are the outcome of an entrepreneur who has a social vision, and the product is the result of a social initiative with no profit. Entrepreneurs are the change against whom they look to forge organisations or fashion change in existing ones to create social impact. Innovation is fundamental in social entrepreneurship.

Development Management for Social Entrepreneurship

Development Management focuses on empowering development professionals to roll up their sleeves and dive into complex community issues which need sensitivity, empathy, and tactfulness. The Post-Graduate Program in Development Management (PGP DM), developed and carefully curated by the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), enables professionals to look at existing models, structures, systems, and processes. They are empowered to redesign appropriate strategies and interventions that could be more effective and efficient. Many ISDM alumni have been deeply involved in launching or working with social entrepreneurial ventures today.

NUSHAURA is a for-profit social enterprise working with rural and tribal artisans across various remote villages in Rajasthan. They curate sustainable, healthy, handmade products. The aim is to maintain the well-being of the consumers and Mother Earth. What is unique about this social enterprise is how the artisans are equal stakeholders, creating an increased sense of responsibility and efficiency.”

– Tanushree Jain, PGP-DM Batch of 2017-18
    Founder and Director of NUSHAURA


The Khalsen Homestay in Uttarakhand was started to support rural livelihood opportunities and create a mindset to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

“People from the hills are very hard working but lack entrepreneurial skills. They have resources, and there are multiple schemes to support them, but there is a huge gap in awareness and implementation. So, our efforts have set a sustainable income generation model.”

– Anamika Kandari, PGP-DM Class of 2017-18
    Owner of the Khalsen Homestay


HUManity is an organisation focused on identifying the needs of childcare institutions and providing need-based interventions. The programs are implemented with the objective of the holistic development of children by including components that enhance life skills, literacy, and infrastructure.

– Abhishek Paluri, PGP-DM Class of 2020-21
    Owner of the Khalsen Homestay

The Need for Social Enterprises and Social Entrepreneurship

There is a crying need for a broader understanding of the social problems that affect communities and searching for effective outcomes to address them. Developing models in social enterprises, irrespective of profit as a motive, is a dire requisite. Committed organisations working on social causes with a double bottom line of financial gain and societal welfare are changing conventional business models. The path forward addresses global issues of the environment, welfare, health, and education through innovation and unconventional approaches. Social enterprises like NUSHAURA, the Khalsen Homestay and HUManity address community issues focused on positive social change. To drive the concept of social enterprises, we need entrepreneurs like Tanushree, Anamika and Abhishek who transcend convention with innovative solutions, are operated with ambition and perseverance and are eager to change systems. Social entrepreneurs are viewed as change agents who can tread into areas where other stakeholders have been unable to venture into due to the scarcity of funds or the sheer will to do so.

Is there a closeted Social Entrepreneur in you?

Are you a development professional who loves problems and not the solution?

Do you believe that no one owns a social solution? Do you think these solutions should be co-created with the community to ensure sustainability and impact using a change management philosophy?

Lastly, do you understand that impact is the bottom line of the social sector? You cannot rely on innovation and invention alone but need to prove impact and pursue scale, making them visionary and disciplined in your approach?

If you found yourself answering ‘yes’ to these questions, according to Suzanne Smith, the founder of Social Impact Architects, you have the mindset of a social entrepreneur! The community’s problems and latent needs address them from a social perspective. Social change is achieved through organisations with bold and innovative solutions crafted by social entrepreneurs. They are essential in driving change from the 2 Ps to the 3 Ps of People, Planet and Prosperity. The realisation that every organisation can shape the welfare of communities is what needs to be acknowledged and appreciated. The ultimate goal is for social change to be possible by social organisations and social entrepreneurs.

To take a step further toward social change, enrol yourself in the Post Graduate Program of Development Management by the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM). ISDM is a unique and pioneering school of management. The curriculum does not merely retrofit Business Management to development projects but is explicitly born from the union of the two binding domains of development leadership and management.

If you are considering a career in Social Sector, it might be worth your while to look into PGP -DM program offered by ISDM. You can find more information about the program here:

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