Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century
In less than a generation, we have witnessed a tectonic shift in the way people think about—and work toward—social change. In her new book, Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century, Georgia Levenson Keohane charts the social entrepreneurship revolution across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors, examining how innovative change makers are testing new solutions to entrenched social, economic, and environmental problems.
"In her book, Georgia Levenson Keohane provides a great insight into the emergence of social business and entrepreneurship. Her work provides a clear sighted analysis of the many different dynamics at play as we test new models and solutions for global economic change." —Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate, author of Banker to the Poor
“Entrepreneurship and venture thinking don’t reside only in Silicon Valley; they can be found in the nonprofit sector, and they are changing the social fabric of nations and cultures around the world. Just how the nonprofit sector has evolved into a powerful agent of social change is the story expertly told by Georgia Levenson Keohane in Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century. This is a hugely important book for those who want to understand the nonprofit world and its evolving role.” —Eliot Spitzer, former governor of New York and host of Current TV’s Viewpoint
Georgia Levenson Keohane is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where she works on a range of issues in economic policy, including poverty and inequality, employment and job growth, and social entrepreneurship and the role of firms in society.
Keohane’s career has bridged the private and nonprofit sectors. A former McKinsey consultant and foundation executive, she advises a number of organizations including philanthropies, educational entities, community development agencies, and think tanks. She writes regularly on social and economic policy and the intersection of business and society for the Harvard Business Review, The Nation, The American Prospect, Slate, and other publications. Keohane has taught at Yale, and is an adjunct professor in the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School. A native New Yorker, she lives with her husband and two daughters in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood where she grew up.
Keohane holds a BA from Yale University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MSc from London School of Economics, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.
January 26 New York, NY Columbia Business School, Sanford C. Bernstein Center for Ethics and Leadership
January 30 Washington, DC Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
February 9 Cambridge, MA Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Conference, Panel: Crossing the Chasm: How Today's Successful Social Entrepreneurs are Maximing Profit and Purpose
February 27 Washington, DC Hudson Institute
March 5 New York, NY Columbia Business School, Sanford C. Bernstein Center for Ethics and Leadership, panel on B-Corps
April 10-12 Oxford, UK Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship
April 13-14 New Haven, CT Yale University Global Health & Innovation Conference
April 17 New York, NY Authors Circle at Jumpstart's Scribbles to Novels Gala
Please email Andrew Burnett for further information on public events and appearances.
Social Entrepreneurship in the Nonprofit Sector
Keohane begins in the nonprofit sphere with organizations like Teach for America and the Freelancers Union and the ‘venture’ philanthropies that support them to show how new business models help these organizations advance their social missions.
Social Impact in the Private Sector
In the private sector, Keohane explores social entrepreneurship – the infusion of social sector values into profit-making activities – from the enterprise and investor perspectives, including the hundreds of billions of dollars mobilized for “impact” investments in companies providing services to poor people in developing countries and the proliferation of social purpose firms in the U.S. that pursue sustainable practices to create social or environmental benefit and enhance long-term financial performance.
Social Innovation in the Public Sector
Using case studies from the Bloomberg and Obama administrations, Keohane illustrates how social entrepreneurship in its public sector incarnation – the “social innovation” school – is transforming government and governance through “evidence-based” solutions to social change, competitive instruments like prizes and challenges, policy laboratories, and new initiatives intended to “shape markets” and incent private capital investment in the public good.
Room for Debate
In the book’s final chapters, Keohane tackles some of the tensions inherent in cross-sector work: the promise and pitfalls of “market” solutions to social problems, competing definitions of public goods and social welfare and the debates about their provision. She concludes with an eye toward social entrepreneurship for the 21st century, with recommendations about how government and private actors can collectively work toward social change—and a more shared prosperity.
“A timely, comprehensive, and well-written perspective on one of the most powerful, positive forces for social change in our world today. Keohane’s book not only synthesizes her state-of-the-art knowledge of the field, but brings new insight into impact investing, the growing role of the social capital markets, the essentiality of valid performance measures, and the blurring of the lines between the social, public, and private sectors.”
—William F. Meehan III, Raccoon Partners Lecturer in Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Director Emeritus, McKinsey and Company
"There’s been much talk of a “social entrepreneurship” movement over the past decade. But what is it? How new is it? How has it influenced nonprofits as well as the private and public sectors? What are its virtues and its limitations? What risks are there in its embrace? Georgia Levenson Keohane has provided the most comprehensive, deeply researched, critical examination of social entrepreneurship to date." —Phil Buchanan, President, The Center for Effective Philanthropy