Our recent research showed that stress is a significant problem for social entrepreneurs. The findings published also in Harvard Business Review reveal that when trying to achieve commercial goals and give back to the community at the same time, social entrepreneurs are likely to overload themselves with too many responsibilities and, consequently, deplete their personal resources.
However, those social entrepreneurs who can organise their business so they have control over how, where, and when they help others, are better able to manage any work overload and stress levels.
As put by Ewald Kibler in an interview by the PBS Public Broadcasting Service: when these entrepreneurs aim to tackle major systemic issues without significant support from funders and consultants, they often take on more than they can handle. Kibler urges intermediaries and business incubators not to focus solely on helping social entrepreneurs develop a business pitch but also to emphasise the importance of well-being within the company. This year, Kibler would like to see “social good” companies “focus on helping their own employees as well as their business.”
The study was conducted by Ewald Kibler and Teemu Kautonen from the Entrepreneurship research team of Aalto University, together with colleagues Joakim Wincent, Gabriella Cacciotti and Martin Obschonka. The analysis was based on original longitudinal survey data gathered in the United Kingdom.
- Kibler, E., Wincent, J., Kautonen, T., Cacciotti, G. & Obschonka, M. 2018. Why Social Entrepreneurs Are So Burned Out. Harvard Business Review.
- Kibler, E., Wincent, J., Kautonen, T., Cacciotti, G. & Obschonka, M. 2018. Can Prosocial Motivation Harm Entrepreneurs’ Subjective Well-being? Journal of Business Venturing.
- PBS, by Courtney Vinopal (21.1.2019). Why you can expect to see more businesses embrace social missions in 2019