Jerr Boschee and the Passion of Social Entrepreneurs

Jerr Boschee is founder and executive director of The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs and one of the world's most influential leaders in the social sector.

Boschee has spent the past 35 years advising social entrepreneurs in the US and abroad and is considered one of the founders of the worldwide social entrepreneurship movement. A sought-after speaker, he has delivered seminars or conducted master classes in 43 states and 21 countries, and served as an advisor to England's Department of Trade and Industry Social Enterprise Unit from 2001 to 2004. Boschee is the former President and CEO of The National Center for Social Entrepreneurs and is one of the six co-founders of the Social Enterprise Alliance. The NonProfit Times named him to its "Power and Influence Top 50" list in 2004, 2005 and 2006. He has also been a senior marketing executive for a Fortune 100 company, managing editor for a chain of regional newspapers, a Peace Corps volunteer in India, and a guest lecturer at numerous academic institutions.  

Boschee is the author or editor of six books, including 'Boschee on Marketing,' 'The Social Enterprise Sourcebook,' and the award-winning 'Migrating from Innovation to Entrepreneurship: How Nonprofits are Moving toward Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency.'

In this interview, Jerr opens up about his career, the evolution of social enterprise over the last 35 years, the state of the social sector today, and where we are heading as a movement. He speaks about the skill sets and traits of successful social entrepreneurs, and how the sector will only continue to grow with a new generation of dedicated leaders. He talks about what is needed to support the current infrastructure, as well as international development. Learn from one of the pioneers and living legends in the social advancement field. Jerr is full of insights and wisdom from a career dedicated to the advancement of social enterprise. 


In this interview, we discuss:

  1. Social Innovation vs. Social Enterprise, and what the distinction is. (2:30)
  2. Addressing the major unmet needs of society.  (5:00)
  3. The issue with nonprofit organizations and the negative mindset they are stuck in. (8:15)
  4. The 3 types of leaders. (19:00)
  5. The 3 types of organizations. (22:00)
  6. The passion and drive necessary for a successful social leader. (31:30)
  7. Reflections on his full career and the state of the social enterprise sector. (36:00) 


"Entrepreneurs are an incredible plucky bunch. Those who are successful can always find ways to keep going. "


  1. The Institute Social Entrepreneurs Resources.
  2. The Social Enterprise Sourcebook
  3. Top 10 Ideas on Taking an Innovative Idea to Market ARTICLE.
  4. The 8 Basic Principles of Nonprofit Entrepreneurs ARTICLE
  5. Skoll World Forum podcast interview
  6. The Social Enterprise Sourcebook on Amazon


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