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Activist, Change Agent, Market Pioneer, Market Influencer:

What Type of Social Entrepreneur are You?


The answer can be found in a new report by Columbia Business School’s Research Initiative on Social Entrepreneurship (RISE) in partnership with Investors’ Circle and the Social Venture Network. Co-authored by RISE director Cathy Clark and Research Associate Selen Ucak, RISE For-Profit Social Entrepreneur Report: Balancing Markets and Values offers a snapshot of social ventures in seven industry segments as well as insights into the experiences, attitudes, and practices of the people who create and manage them.__


The study is based on a survey of executives of 211 emerging social ventures located across the Unites States, and all less than 30 years old.


Click here to download PDF of RISE Entrepreneur Report


It identifies four types of social venture entrepreneurs:


Activists are explicit with their customers in their dedication to social value creation and regularly engage others in promoting their missions – like Seventh Generation, ShoreBank and Equal Exchange.


Change Agents, despite their strong interest in influencing society, are not necessarily explicit in their missions to all customers._ For example, many pest control customers and diners may be unaware of the breadth of the missions of Pest at Rest or of the White Dog Caf_._


Market Pioneers, such as Big Clean Trucks, Wireless Generation and Sun & Earth, are always explicit with customers about their social objectives. While they are financially driven, most of these CEOs evaluate their companies’ social impact in order to influence peers and systems.


Market Influencers are the most quiet about their social missions._ They are first and foremost financially driven, and are not always explicit with customers about social objectives, as they often work in industries where they believe their customers would be distracted by their mission focus. Examples are City Fresh Foods and ConsumerPowerline._


Social Venture CEO Types








84 CEOs_ _



_"Market Pioneers"________________

_47 CEOs__







"Change Agents"________________________

31 CEOs_______




_"Market Influencers"_____________________

_28 CEOs





The report also describes trends by industry about companies’ attitudes and practices in terms of the vehicles used to create social and environmental value, explicitness to stakeholders, evaluation, financing, growth and exits.


Please also visit the free, searchable online RISE Social Entrepreneur CEO Directory.


To be added to the report’s email distribution list, please send your email address to Cathy Clark.