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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Walker

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

In industry an entrepreneur is someone who innovates.

In the nonprofit sector it’s no accident that certain nonprofit founders and some nonprofit organizations have been labeled social entrepreneurs or social enterprises. Though not everyone uses the terms social entrepreneur or social enterprise with innovation in mind, it technically indicates innovation in the social sector. If the social enterprise is organized as a nonprofit entity, then it’s also innovation in the nonprofit sector.

As I worked my way through the novice readings one question rose to the top: Do executives and stakeholder in social enterprises recognize and value their innovations, particularly the intellectual property output?

I had worked for organizations that were around long before the term social enterprise emerged and before academic research on nonprofit organizations was a distinct academic discipline. So, were my former employers unique in some way? Were they, in fact, social entrepreneurs/social enterprises because they had innovation outputs in the form of intellectual property?

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