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Webinar Recap: Social Entrepreneurship – Innovative Thinking to Build a Better North Texas

The North Texas Commission’s Topic: North Texas Webinar Series presented by Verizon continued on July 8, 2015 with Suzanne Smith as she discussed social entrepreneurship and innovation on a global and regional scale.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurs take ideas, either new or existing, and come up with innovative, creative ways leverage them to make an impact on social issues. Whether it’s a local problem or a global issue, the goal of a social entrepreneur is to be a part of the solution, to make a difference. Social innovation requires a social enterprise – the business model behind the change which requires these entrepreneurs to get creative.

“Don’t fall in love with a solution. Fall in love with a problem,” Smith said of creating a social enterprise, of which the end goal is to go out of business by fixing the problem you aim to solve.

Smith discussed various social entrepreneurs, including North Texas’s own Mary Kay and their impact on the world of social innovation. She also presented the idea of social impact bonds which allow states to research and develop ideas to make change in key challenge areas like workforce development and at-risk youth.

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program was used in Smith’s presentation as a prime example of social entrepreneurship, a program recently covered in our Topic: North Texas Webinar Series. Criminal Justice, along with early childhood development and regionalism as a whole were the three things Smith stated could have the biggest impact on North Texas, if people began to think about them in an innovative way. View the recap and recording on Topic: North Texas | Rethink Prison HERE.

About the Presenter

Suzanne Smith (@snstexas) has a deep belief that everyone is a changemaker.  As a serial social entrepreneur, she strives to harness the powerful force of organizations, including nonprofits, foundations and socially responsible businesses, and individuals, especially students and young entrepreneurs, to maximize

the potential of the social sector to create real, scalable impact.

In 2009, Suzanne founded Social Impact Architects to reshape the business of social change. She combines her MBA know-how with two decades of experience as a nonprofit innovator to serve as a consultant, advisor and thought partner. She is also a highly sought-after public speaker at conferences nationwide and teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas. Suzanne also authors Social TrendSpotter (@socialtrendspot), one of the sector’s top blogs according to the Huffington Post.

Suzanne holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where she was selected as the CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) Scholar and now serves as a Research Fellow and on their Alumni Council. Nationally, she was selected as a member of Peter Senge’s Society of Organizational Learning and Young Entrepreneurs Council. She also served on the national board of the Social Enterprise Alliance and is currently their Senior Policy Advisor.

For the full details from the webinar, watch the presentation or view the slides below. For past webinar recordings and details on future webinars, visit our webinar page HERE.

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