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Entrepreneurship for social change: Is the U.S. doing enough to encourage and support sustainable social innovation?
Throughout U.S. history the nonprofit and government sectors have addressed needs that are not being met by the marketplace through the provision of a variety of social goods and services ranging from health and human services to environmental conservation. In response to increased demand for these services, the number of nonprofits has grown by 59% over the past 20 years (Powell and Steinberg, 2006; NCCS, 2010). There are now over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. which account for 5 percent of GDP, 8.1 percent of the economy’s wages, and 9.7 percent of jobs (Wing, 2008). Over the same time period, government social programs also rapidly expanded in number and per capita cost (OCED, 2010) .
While the social sector contributes significantly to societal well-being, traditional approaches have proven unable to fully address critical social problems or deal effectively with increased need. In the past, good intentions were enough; h…
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