What then about the third element of community capital—financial and built capital? This third element enters into the equation and relates to service-oriented entrepreneurship through a strategy often called social entrepreneurship. First encouraged in the creation of new social service agencies to serve the severely underserved human needs found in many third world country (Bangladesh being a prime example), social entrepreneurship is now being embraced by many men and women seeking to address the unmet needs of North American communities. Typically, a social entrepreneurial project involves one or more of the other types of entrepreneurship. This strategy also involves collaborations between nonprofit organizations, for profit businesses and government agencies. In some cases, these projects involve micro-funding of key demonstration projects, while in other cases the project involves bringing organizational and managerial expertise to the men and women who have identified an unmet need and have successfully advocated for addressing this need in their community.
This translation of advocacy into action resides at the heart of social entrepreneurship and offers an important challenge to the service-oriented entrepreneur and her coach in terms of future directions and broader participation of community leaders in building this third element of the community capital equation. Social entrepreneurs create and maintain institutions that generate financial capital, that enable previously disempowered men and women to build things, manufacture things and provide services, and that build the infrastructures that enable information to flow and commerce to take place. These are enterprises that enable a community to address the fundamental economic issues of credit and debt.
How do service-oriented entrepreneurs help to build new alliances that involve nonprofit, for profit and governmental institutions to address critical needs in their community? What additional skills, knowledge and motivation is needed (if any) to work as social entrepreneurs? How do banks, corporations, small businesses, educational institutions, health care institutions and human service agencies come together to establish entrepreneurial enterprises that effectively serve the community (while also being sustainable enterprises)? These are the critical questions that a professional coach can help her client address. There is probably no form of entrepreneurship that can benefit as much from coaching, given these fundamental questions and the lack of many viable models of effective social entrepreneurship. A coach can assist her client in identifying best practices that now exist throughout the world and in linking her client with other resources in the field (including people, books, articles and on-line resources on community capitalism, civic engagement and social entrepreneurships).
A coach can also help the service-oriented entrepreneur at a personal level. It is very easy for this type of entrepreneur to lose themselves while seeking to serve other people and their community. They are even more likely than the managerial entrepreneur to have unclear or non-existent personal boundaries. This can lead (and often does lead) to personal burnout. Community-building activities have often failed in the past because those who lead these initiatives give up at some point—or at the very least come to recognize the cost of civic engagement in terms of their personal life. They lose touch with their own family, while trying to benefit other families in their community. They abuse their own body and spirit while seeking to restore the body and spirit of the people they choose to serve. A coach can be of great value in challenging the service-oriented entrepreneur to take care of themselves and set some firm boundaries in terms of their obligation to other people and their community.Download Article 1K Club