By Paul Lamb (May 2010)
Social entrepreneurs are good people, right? Otherwise why would they dedicate themselves to making a difference in the world? But where does this goodness come from? Is it purely a humanistic urge or do many entrepreneurs have strong religious, spiritual, or other moral beliefs to guide their work? If so, why don’t social entrepreneurs make these beliefs known?
Of course it ultimately doesn’t matter where urges to do good come from, and individuals and their social change work should never be judged on what they choose to believe or if such work has any particular value system attached to it. But why the silence when people do have strong beliefs? Is talking about such things crossing a line that shouldn’t be crossed – a kind of necessaryseparation of church and state?
And are there cultural differences which encourage (or discourage) social entrepreneurs outside the US to be more (or less) forthcoming about their spiritual values and moral compasses? Are there any particular differences between Africa, Asia, and Europe on this front?
- Do you think entrepreneurs should talk more openly about their underlying beliefs or is it simply not relevant or useful?
- Do you feel like there is an unspoken taboo preventing the sharing of personal beliefs?
- Do you feel comfortable expressing your own beliefs openly and would you like other entrepreneurs to do the same?
Typically when we talk about social enterprise, it is in humanistic terms –there is an assumption that social enterprise is inherently good. But are vague and unspoken beliefs and values doing more damage than good to the sector?
Join Paul Lamb, a , in a conversation on social entrepreneurs’ spiritual values and moral underpinnings.