By Daniela Papi , February 2016
There is growing interest in social entrepreneurship, which is fuelled by an increasing number of business accelerator programmes, hack-a-thons, and social entrepreneurship training courses. But is the way we are teaching and funding the start-up phase of social businesses actually moving us away from social impact by creating a false hierarchy with a start-up founder at the top of the impact careers list, while channelling limited resources into ideas which are not grounded in reality?
As the research component of her Fellowship, Daniela Papi-Thornton explored these questions. She interviewed educators, funders, social sector professionals, and students to identify where the heropreneurship focus was coming from, and what might move us away from this mind set to instead focus on positive social impact.
She also proposed and tried out some solutions, presenting what she calls an ‘apprenticing with a problem’ approach to help people learn about potential leadership problems. As part of this, she developed a tool called the Impact Gaps Canvas which maps the stories of nine people who have either apprenticed with a problem or wished they had.
If you are an educator or funder supporting people who are working to create social change through businesses, please visit her website or download her full report here. Please feel free to reach out to Daniela directly with any feedback or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.