Skoll Foundation


“Freeing the Social Entrepreneur” in the Fall 2010 Issue of SSIR

September 10, 2010 by

Skoll Foundation Program Officer Kimberly Dasher Tripp and Teach for America-Bay Area Managing Director Chantal Laurie Below, co-author a piece in the Fall 2010 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled “Freeing the Social Entrepreneur“. It’s a roadmap for social entrepreneurs when they are building their leadership teams at that critical juncture between running a startup and positioning their organizations for long-term growth and scalable impact.

Tripp and Below spoke with dozens of social sector leaders to identify the most important steps that social entrepreneurs must take to build a team, and the five leadership roles an organization must have for it to be successful at this stage of its development: the evangelist, scaling partner, connector, program strategist, and realist. The article includes comments and insights from a number of Skoll social entrepreneurs whose experience building their own teams have taught them valuable lessons, which are reflected in Tripps’a and Below’s research. Those social entrepreneurs include Jordan Kassalow, Co-Founder and Chairman of VisionSpring, William Foote, President of Root Capital, John Wood, CEO and Founder of Room to Read, and Jim Fruchterman, President and CEO of Benetech.

Tripp and Below conclude: “When social entrepreneurs stop thinking of leadership positions as simply a solution to an immediate problem, and begin to create roles and hire talent with the same vision and foresight that they use to perfect their idea and mission, scale becomes a natural progression rather than an elusive goal.”

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