"Social entrepreneurs" are to social change what business entrepreneurs are to the economy. Aimed at the general reader, this text presents inspiring accounts of dozens of individuals around the world who have stepped in to solve problems where governments and bureaucracies have failed. For example, one of the innovators profiled is a South African woman who developed a home-based care model for AIDS patients that changed government health policy. Another chapter tells the story of an American man credited with saving 25 million lives by marketing a global campaign for immunization. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Journalist Bornstein (The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank) profiles nine indomitable champions of social change who developed innovative ways to address needs they saw around them in places as distinct as Bombay, India; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and inner-city Washington, D.C. As these nine grew influential when their ingenious ideas proved ever more widely successful, they came to the attention of Ashoka, an organization that sponsors a fellows program to foster social innovation by finding so-called social entrepreneurs to support. As Bornstein interviewed these and many other Ashoka fellows, he saw patterns in the ways they fought to solve their specifically local problems. To demonstrate the commonality among experiences as diverse as a Hungarian mother striving to provide a fuller life for her handicapped son and a South African nurse starting a home-care system for AIDS patients, he presents useful unifying summaries of four practices of innovative organizations and six qualities of successful social entrepreneurs. Bornstein implies that his subjects are in the tradition of Florence Nightingale and Gandhi; the inspiring portraits that emerge from his in-depth reporting on the environments in which individual programs evolved (whether in politically teeming India or amid the expansive grasslands of Brazil) certainly show these unstoppable entrepreneurs as extraordinarily savvy community development experts. In adding up the vast number of current nongovernmental organizations and their corps of agents of positive change, Bornstein aims to persuade that, without a doubt, the past twenty years has produced more social entrepreneurs than terrorists. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.