Have you ever spot the difference between Social Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise? if not no worries I’ve done it for you!

” the real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes” Marcel Proust.

That is what Professor Gorden McConnell started talking about Social Entrepreneurs. He is a professor in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. He said that every time he started to talk about social entrepreneurs and social enterprise he opens his speech page51_McConnell_Gordon_750with this quote, because you will definitely understand what this quote means after he finishes explaining the meaning of social entrepreneurship and enterprise.


In first I didn’t know what are the differences between them until Mr. Gorden explained them. I thought that both of them have the same meaning. But I thought wrong! I liked this seminar because it was fruitful with a lot of ideas of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. So Shall we start figuring out what are the differences?!

To make it clear both social entrepreneurship and enterprise have to have a CLEAR MISSION AND THEY HAVE TO STICK TO IT. If you wanted to get involve to a social entrepreneur or social enterprise and forgot about the mission or got driven away, things probably won’t work out the way you thought it would. What are the meanings of both?


Social Entrepreneurship:




“An innovative, social-value creating activity that can occur within or across the nonprofit, business or government sector ” Harvard Business School,2007.

In other words,

“Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change” The Kaizen Crossroad, 2011.

Examples about it were displayed in the seminar as I previously said this seminar was amazing and made me notice the difference.

I liked this example of an organization called Safe Sipp, it’s a social venture addressing three problems facing rural communities in the developing world: transportation, purification, and safe storage of drinking water.










Social Enterprise:


It is a ‘social mission driven’ organizations which trade in goods or services for a social purpose. In other words they only focus on what improves and serves the social environment.


The social enterprise is about a business model and the social entrepreneurship is about the person and the is the idea this person came up with to serve and solve a problem in the social environment.


For example, Oxfam shop.



“Oxfam is a global movement of millions of people who share the belief that, in a world rich in resources, poverty isn’t inevitable. In just 15 years, extreme poverty has been halved. 15 more years and we can end it for good” Oxfam shop.



To be honest I understood what they meant but it was a little bit fuzzy until Professor Gorden explained the differences in an easy simple way,

Social Enterprise:

  • Been around for a long time.
  • Earned income oriented.
  • Sometimes sit alongside a charity e.g. Oxfam Shops.

Social Entrepreneurship:

  • Relatively new idea.
  • Adapting ‘best practice’ and model from startup world.
  • May be earned income, crowd funding or other sources of funding.


There was also an example that I found impressive, Greyston Bakery company, they encourage prisoners who got out of prison by offering them a job. We all know that most prisoners find difficulty getting a job but Greyston Bakery have done a great job helping them.GreystonHeader.jpg


“At Greyston…we don’t employ people to make brownies…we make brownies to employ people. We have to professionalize our business by focusing on…market… remain true to vision…attention to needs of the business….don’t force the business to be a social program….” Julius Walls, Jr CEO of Greyston Bakery.




Gallery-Tiles-06Then after professor Gorden has finished, miss Esraa Asiri the founder of Etree company have introduced herself and started to talk about her company and what her company’s mission which is “leverage their technology expertise with their roots in society to create the most compelling and innovative digital solutions”. She spoke about a lot of the services that they came up with for example:


Which means “you are home” in Arabic, its purpose is to bring the Saudi female role models and make them join social events so that they can share their experience.


صلة cella logo

Which means link, connection in Arabic, because women in Saudi Arabia don’t network a lot they have come up with this service that encourage them and help them in closing the gap between female and the world by helping them connect with each other in business environments.


Then miss Esraa have gave us a precious advice that she learned through her experience which was


she said that she used to be shy and never ask! I think she is right some people miss a lot of chances because they don’t ask for information or anything else. Like my mom used to say “you never know until you ask”. I think I’m going to stick to that advice since many insist on it.



Links for companies mentioned previously:

Human Computer Interaction and Smart Cities.

Urban countries nowadays are putting a lot of effort in becoming a smart city. You can see them trying to progress either by implementing successful ideas from elsewhere or observing their environment and finding solutions to save the environment.

urban country

Miss Areej Al-Wabil is an ambitious women that works in an industry that involves smart city. She is the principal investigator at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, she is also a researcher fellow, Ideation Lab at MIT.

She started to talk about her back round which I found very impressive because she seemed like she achieved a lot and still looking for more! I love meeting people who are successful as Miss Areej it makes me motivated and seeking the best of me.Then she started the main topic that she wanted to talk about which mainly talks about “smart city” and what are the products that they have produced that can help an environment to become an environment the suits a smart city.

smart-citysmarter city backround

The company she works at have done a lot in producing products and ideas for smart cities, some of the products were made by masters students. There were products that were made to serve education and stakeholders!

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Design:

Some of the designs that were mentioned under this topic were really incredible… actually almost unbelievable! For example, there was this product called ” The Eye-gaze diagnostics for visual attention”, the main idea of what this product does it shows what are you looking at for instance if I am reading a book it can show you what word I am looking at. Simply it shows what I am focusing on.

They usually use this design in education where it can help the teacher diagnose the difficulties a student has when the student pause in a certain word or skip it the teacher will be tracking what they read. I think this product would help students not only in reading but also it can help a teacher focusing on students who gets distracted easily in most of the time during class.

eye gazeeye_gaze_resize

Prototyping and Ideation:

The main idea of this concept is what Miss Areej and her company do in their IT department. We watched a video that explains the idea of design and the process in how it happens it was really creative in showing us how one person think of a design and try to draw it then put it as a prototype after that manufacturing it. ” Mishkat” which is a science venue located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is an example of Prototyping and Ideation. This science venue is designed for children to understand how the children interact with the objects.


I never heard of it before but I got excited to take my young brother to it, he loves to interact with anything that has to do with technology.

Social Innovation in Smart City Design:

A video was played the talks about social glass, what does social glass means and what does it do?

“It’s an ongoing effort that enables stakeholders in having a general image in any city they want to go and do business at”.

I like this idea because some people who start businesses nowadays find difficulties in emerging any country, they wouldn’t have a back ground information about the city they’re going to which results a failure in identifying who your customers are.


Campaign toward a Sustainable Campus:

Dublin City University has come up with a strategy that saves the environment, enables the students to move more than using sustainable transport. For example if you use the bus you and the distance between where you live and your university is long, you can go with the bus and stop near the closest bus stop and walk the rest of the distance to the university. This way you can save gas for the bus and you can exercise while walking to the university. I think it is a clever thinking by doing this strategy because it not only saves the environment it helps other aspects as well.

dcu greengreen cam dcu