Focus on social entrepreneurship: An interview with Prof Dr Wolfgang Gehra


Focus on social entrepreneurship: An interview with Prof Dr Wolfgang Gehra

Insights into the book “Gehra: Social Entrepreneurship” and the importance of social entrepreneurship

In today’s world, we face numerous social and environmental challenges that call for innovative solutions. Prof Dr Wolfgang Gehra, renowned expert in the field of social entrepreneurship, provides a deep insight into this exciting and important field in his book “Gehra: Social Entrepreneurship”. We spoke to him about the nature of social entrepreneurship, its role in the social economy and for whom his book is of interest.

If you have to summarise it briefly: What is social entrepreneurship?

“In my view, entrepreneurship is expanded by the term “social” and complemented by the social and ecological goal orientation. The focus is on solving or alleviating social and/or ecological problems with entrepreneurial creativity and energy. Economic principles are part of the entrepreneurial mindset and a means to an end. Solving a social challenge comes before maximising profits. The current global challenges require sustainable and socially orientated solutions. Despite economic growth and prosperity, problems have not yet been solved or new ones have been created in many areas. External effects, such as environmental and climate damage or poverty, are the result of a failure to take account and a one-sided profit-orientation. Social entrepreneurship is the entrepreneurial implementation of social innovations in the sense of innovative start-ups or entrepreneurial initiatives within a company, known as social intrapreneurship, in a wide variety of fields of activity with a focus on social objectives.”

What role does social entrepreneurship play in the social economy?

“For historical, social and economic reasons, social entrepreneurship meets very different requirements in the USA, Europe and Germany. The welfare state systems are developed differently. For a readership in predominantly German-speaking countries, the focus of this book is therefore on presenting the conditions in Germany. Social entrepreneurship is seen as bringing together social and economic goals. Social innovations can be initiated by both young founders and established organisations. In this respect, social entrepreneurship can be a bridge between traditional social economy organisations and entrepreneurial, innovative initiatives. On the other hand, social entrepreneurship offers the opportunity for purely commercially orientated companies to open up to business models with a focus on the common good.”

Who will find the book interesting?

“I would like to quote the testimonial for the book by Kristina Notz, Executive Director of the Social Entrepreneurship Academy: “This is the book that everyone who wants to know about social entrepreneurship needs to read!” In my opinion, that sums it up perfectly. Like a guide, the book provides an in-depth insight and a comprehensive overview for anyone who wants to approach the topic or is looking for guidance. In terms of content and structure, the book is therefore suitable for students, teachers, practitioners, counsellors and other interested parties. The latter can also be found in banks, investment companies, public administrations or political representatives. In other words, anyone who is involved in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem or wants to come into contact with it. Last but not least, readers who want to find inspiration and support for their own ideas and initiatives.”

This is the book that everyone who wants to know about social entrepreneurship must read!

Kristina Notz , Executive Director Social Entrepreneurship Akademie

Like a pilot, Gehra’s book guides you through the rapidly changing phenomenon of social entrepreneurship. In addition to a thematic introduction, it navigates through the start-up phases, legal forms, impact measurement and financing. The fields of social intrapreneurship and education are also examined. A critical perspective completes the picture. Last but not least, insights into the network and selected examples provide readers with a wide-ranging approach and a better overall understanding of entrepreneurial activity in a social context. The book is aimed at students, teachers, practitioners, counsellors and all interested parties.