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The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook: How to Start, Build, and Run a Business That Improves the World Hardcover – 1 May 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (1 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071750290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071750295
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 822,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

An extraordinary book...the book is not only a gold mine of content, it is also exciting and vividly written. A must for any budding social entrepreneur!
--ChangeX.de, 14 July 2011

Gives down-to-earth advice on all aspects of running a business. An excellent background read for managers at any level. --Professional Manager, Sep 30, 2011

From the Back Cover

Whether your mission is as ambitious as pulling millions of people out ofpoverty or as modest as feeding people in your neighborhood, now is theperfect time to get started. Social entrepreneurship has never been moreneeded, more valued, and more achievable than it is today.

In The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook, author Rupert Scofield―presidentand CEO of FINCA International―gives you a practical plan for doingwhat you might have thought wasn’t possible: becoming a driving force forgood by using business practices typically reserved for amassing personalwealth. Scofield teaches you how to:

  • Focus your passions for social or environmental change into asingle, achievable pursuit
  • Create a business plan that uses commercial entrepreneur bestpractices for socially beneficial ends
  • Mitigate the personal, financial, and professional risk that comeswith running a nonprofit organization

Becoming a social entrepreneur is among the biggest decisions anyone canmake―and one of the most rewarding. When you put your talent and hard workinto amassing not capital but social capital, you’ll finally see those changesyou’ve been thinking, dreaming, and talking about take shape.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Short review: How to set up and run socially aware enterprises. Average advice on how to run a business. Better business books available.

Longer review:

This is a worthy book. The core value of the book is to show you how to create an enterprise that not only employs people but helps make the world a better place. What's not to like? With all of us in the middle of the current economic storm, this theme is one that we all could support.

Unfortunately, this book fails to deliver.

I have read many, many business books and this was one of the worst I've read. I had to force myself to finish it (see why I did so below) but I really didn't enjoy myself. And I'm one of those odd types that DOES enjoy reading business books!

I found Scofield's anecdotes dull and uninspiring. I found his advice mundane. And I struggled to see why his book would help you run a social business.

Once I got over my 'guilt' at criticising such a noble book, I realised that it fails, for me, on two counts:

1. It's actually a poor 'How to Guide'. There are many other better business books available. Books that will better equip you to create your global empire. My recommendation would be:How to be a Social Entrepreneur: Make Money and Change the World

2. This book doesn't explain in any great depth what it means to be a 'social business'. I had a very vague notion of what a social enterprise looks like before I read the book. Unfortunately, after reading this book, I'm still not much clearer. Maybe I missed something, but Scofield didn't help me understand what distinguishes a social enterprise from a regular business.
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Format: Hardcover
In a couple places in The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook, the author, Rupert Scofield, states that he originally wanted to write a memoir and that he was persuaded to write a handbook. I'm very glad that the author chose the handbook format and not a memoir. We all love a good story, but memoirs are like the Soviet Union slowly taking over libraries and bookstores one shelf at a time.

The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook is much more outward looking, and hence of more use, than any memoir I've ever read. Don't worry, the book is chock full of entertaining stories of Mr. Scofield's many years of international work. He opens with a few of his near brushes with death and goes on from there. But, the book is really about you the reader who is interested in changing the world for the better.

There are many practical insights into what it takes to bring a dream into reality. The author reflects on his many years of experience helping to build a leading international microfinance institution. Mr. Scofield offers practical advice on everything from hiring a finance manager to picking an MIS and he is not shy about detailing the mistakes he made along the way. But, most important, Mr. Scofield verifies that you really can change the world for the better and have a good time doing it. His book shows you how.
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By Hugo Minney TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Anyone planning or running a social enterprise or charity (or even commercial organisation with intent for social good) should read this book - it has so much useful information that I read it twice before I wrote this review
Scofield writes about his experience creating, establishing and growing FINCA, an international micro-finance organisation, and writes from experience (sometimes joyful, sometimes bitter). This is not a book about "it ought to be like this", but it explains the unexpected and the unforseen - you learn so much from Scofield's experience and the experience he draws on from other organisations that you will make fewer mistakes and enjoy more success.
Is it only relevant to microfinance? I built a Social Enterprise providing healthcare and I'm now setting up a charity for health awareness, and I found many if not all of the lessons fascinating and highly relevant.
FOR EXAMPLE: How do I spot the wrong people to employ, the ones who sing beautifully at interview and either suck in money and deliver nothing, or change the culture in the wrong way? What about bringing in experts from the "dark side" (the commercial world) to help the business grow? Schofield has done all of this and more. How do I find celebrity endorsement? How do I maintain the organisation as autonomous units but keep to the founding principles? How do I keep in touch with my donors and retain their commitment, without driving them away? Again, Scofield can present real-life stories both of his clients and rivals, and of FINCA's internal politics.

We've all read coffee table books about the "goodness" of social enterprise. This isn't one of those.
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