Social entrepreneurs are individuals who try to tackle society’s most pressing problems and attempt to drive social innovation in fields such as healthcare, agriculture, education, environment and human rights, using new approaches and products and more rigorous applications of known technologies or strategies. The way they pursue these goals is what makes them distinctive. Similar to a business entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur operates with entrepreneurial determination and business methods to create financially-sustainable organisations that often have an income-generating stream built into the business model. A couple of keywords that are applicable to social entrepreneurs are: Innovation, Sustainability, Reach and Social Impact.

Social enterprises are often confused with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). However, the main difference here is the revenue model. Whereas NGOs rely primarily on charitable contributions and public funding, social enterprises aim to generate enough revenue to sustain themselves financially; they have a steady stream of income, take out loans or grants, search for investors, form partnerships and more.