Music & Entertainment · · 21 min read

25 Social Entrepreneur Books That Will Inspire You

Social Entrepreneurship has taken off and it has become an inspirational way to motivate many to start businesses. There’s no doubt that social entrepreneur books can be a great source of inspiration for people looking to make a difference in the world. We’ve all been inspired by stories of social e

Social Entrepreneur Books

Social Entrepreneurship has taken off and it has become an inspirational way to motivate many to start businesses. There’s no doubt that social entrepreneur books can be a great source of inspiration for people looking to make a difference in the world.

We’ve all been inspired by stories of social entrepreneurs who have used their talents and creativity to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Social entrepreneur books provide readers with an inspiring and informative look at the stories of social entrepreneurs who have made a difference in the world.

They offer valuable lessons on what it takes to create change, as well as insight into the challenges and rewards that come with social entrepreneurship.

If you’re looking for some new reads that will inspire you to take on your own social entrepreneurship journey, we’ve got you covered!

Social Entrepreneur Books

If you are interested in learning more about impact leaders around the world, listen and subscribe to the Disruptors for GOOD podcast.

Social Entrepreneur Books

Experiential Billionaire

Build a Life Rich in Experiences and Die With No Regrets – by Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff

Experiential Billionaire: Build a Life Rich in Experiences and Die With No Regrets - by Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff

In their book, Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff explore the art, science, and pathway to crafting a life enriched by meaningful experiences.

Throughout our existence, society often teaches us to assess our prosperity solely in terms of currency.

However, as we approach the end of our journey, the most common regret among those departing this world has nothing to do with money; it revolves around the unfulfilled experiences they desired but never pursued.

In the grand tapestry of life, our experiences constitute the true wealth. Yet, curiously, many of us lack a concrete strategy for seeking out and investing in these experiences.

Instead, we tend to defer our personal aspirations to an elusive “someday,” often postponing them until it becomes too late.

Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff embarked on their life journeys devoid of connections, wealth, fame, or formal education.

Yet, by embracing the joy of extraordinary experiences, they unlocked the transformative potential of their lives.

Drawing on years of interviews with experts in social science, conducting one of the most extensive surveys on life experiences ever conducted, and immersing themselves as experiential enthusiasts, Bridget and Joe’s adventures have been nothing short of exceptional.

Their exploits include becoming samurai, dancing under the northern lights, tracking silverback gorillas amidst a hailstorm, confronting hungry lions on safari, racing across glaciers on dog sleds, gleaning life lessons from Maasai tribesmen, aiding in the construction of schools for underprivileged children, learning from monks, facilitating hearing for 50,000 individuals, swimming with sharks, and delving into the vast treasure trove of life’s experiential offerings.

“Experiential Billionaire” serves as a key to unlocking the secrets of leading a profoundly gratifying life without regrets.

This guidebook is grounded in compelling research, weaves captivating real-life narratives, and provides actionable insights into the pursuit of a life filled with enriching experiences.

   Buy on Amazon

The Art of Ethical Fashion

A stunning glimpse into the world of conscious garment manufacturing by: Hayley Besheer Santell

The Art of Ethical Fashion

The Art of Ethical Fashion offers a rare behind-the-scenes look into the world of sustainable garment making. This visually stunning coffee table book explores the craft and artistry of ethical manufacturing.

Through breathtaking photography and illuminating interviews, it reveals the creative minds and skilled hands behind consciously-produced fashion. The book sheds light on diverse artisans from pattern makers to seamstresses, providing an intimate view of their workshops and processes.

It promotes sustainable and empowering practices that cherish both the producers and the products. The Art of Ethical Fashion inspires readers to curate slower, more mindful wardrobes valuing quality over quantity.

More than eye candy, this gorgeous volume teaches about the mystic, creative side of ethical production. It leaves audiences changed, motivated to support brands that properly value the human beings behind our clothing.

The Art of Ethical Fashion reminds us that ethical fashion is alive – through the diverse artists who pour heart and soul into stitching together beautiful, lasting pieces.

   Buy on Amazon

The Greater Good

Social Entrepreneurship for Everyday People Who Want to Change the World – by Madeleine Shaw

The Greater Good: Social Entrepreneurship for Everyday People Who Want to Change the World - by Madeleine Shaw

The Greater Good emerges as a rallying call in the 21st century, urging individuals from all walks of life to harness their distinct viewpoints in establishing and guiding impactful social ventures.

Pioneering the path in menstrual health innovation, Madeleine Shaw (co-founder of Aisle, formerly known as Lunapads) unveils a profound exploration of the intrinsic voyage underlying the creation of enterprises and initiatives with a transformative impact.

Amid candid reflections on her professional journey, Shaw illuminates the trajectories of numerous accomplished social entrepreneurs.

This spotlight on their stories reveals an emerging movement—one that holds the potential to steer humanity towards a fairer and more sustainable future.

Demystifying the notion that a business degree or groundbreaking technological concept is essential to effect change, Shaw’s guidance empowers readers to tap into their own experiences, values, and fervor.

This empowers them to carve a distinct, personal vision aligned with the greater good.

“The Greater Good” stands as a testament to the potential within every individual to foster positive transformation. Through diverse perspectives and unique narratives, it sparks a movement that could redefine the landscape, propelling us toward a more just and sustainable tomorrow.

   Buy on Amazon

Future Normal: 8 Questions to Create Businesses Your Children will be Proud Of

by: Nick Barter and Christopher Fleming

Future Normal: 8 Questions to Create Businesses Your Children will be Proud Of

Future Normal is tailored for leaders contemplating their legacy, both personal and within their business endeavors. While individuals may not script their own legacies, this book offers insights to enhance them.

At its core, the book presents eight questions supported by three overarching concepts:

  1. The importance of the questions we pose.
  2. Viewing businesses as instruments for shaping the world.
  3. Optimizing business value for long-term prosperity within society.

These questions have been refined through collaboration with business leaders and thousands of executives enrolled in a top-ranked MBA program recognized for its commitment to the planet. Implementing these principles within one’s business can foster long-term value creation, transforming it into an entity that future generations can admire.

This book is targeted towards business executives, leaders, managers, MBA graduates and students, as well as individuals interested in steering organizational transformation to confront future challenges.

   Buy on Amazon

The Business of Good

by Jason Haber

The Business of Good

The Business of Good presents the captivating saga of social entrepreneurship through the narratives of those who are driven to reshape the world, transcending the boundaries of mere commerce.

A seasoned serial and social entrepreneur, Jason Haber masterfully weaves together a tapestry of case studies, anecdotes, and pioneering initiatives that collectively form the mosaic of entrepreneurship’s transformative evolution.

From the bustling avenues of Main Street to the dynamic realm of Wall Street, the book encapsulates the journeys of today’s social entrepreneurs—individuals who are rewriting the rules of capitalism, challenging the conventional charitable landscape, and revolutionizing corporate practices with innovations that hold the promise to unravel society’s most intricate challenges.

Within these pages, Haber delves into the realm of Capitalism 2.0, scrutinizes the dynamics of philanthropy, and illuminates the pivotal role and influence of media.

The book magnifies the resounding global response as social entrepreneurship reshapes the paradigms of giving, investment strategies, and our very identity.

The Business of Good is a compelling exploration into a future where social entrepreneurship isn’t just a concept, but a powerful force that redefines how we contribute, invest, and ultimately, who we become.

   Buy on Amazon

Do the Kind Thing

by: Daniel Lubetzky

Within the pages of “Do the KIND Thing,” the reader is introduced to the revolutionary principles that have not only forged the business model of KIND but have also driven its remarkable achievements.

Authored by Daniel Lubetzky, this book offers a candid and deeply personal perspective from the vantage point of an innovative social entrepreneur.

Influenced by his father’s profound survival tale during the Holocaust, Lubetzky embarked on a journey that began with handselling a sun-dried tomato spread—crafted collaboratively by Arabs and Jews—amidst the turmoil of the Middle East.

Through trials and tribulations, he remained steadfast in his belief in a business ethos that transcended mere profitability.

His vision encompassed a business model that contributed positively to the world while delivering exceptional products.

While conventional wisdom may force choices between seemingly incompatible alternatives, KIND champions the power of “AND.” Rooted in challenging assumptions and dispelling false compromises, this philosophy propels the brand forward.

It encourages embracing the path less traveled, even if it entails greater risks and initial challenges, all for the promise of enduring rewards.

Drawing from his personal experiences, Lubetzky seamlessly weaves anecdotes and valuable lessons from his own journey.

Amidst tales of successes and failures, he outlines the fundamental principles underpinning a triumphant business and a flourishing social enterprise.

Throughout the narrative, he underscores the significance of brand authenticity, emphasizes transparent and effective communication within the workplace, and underscores the irreplaceable role of more than just good intentions in the journey to create and sell impactful products.

   Buy on Amazon

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children – by: John Wood

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children - by: John Wood

John Wood discovered his passion, his greatest success, and his life’s work not at business school or helping lead Microsoft’s charge into Asia in the 1990s but on a soul-searching trip to the Himalayas.

He made the difficult decision to walk away from his lucrative career to create Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that promotes education across the developing world.

By the end of 2007, the organization will have established over 5,000 libraries and 400 schools, and awarded long-term scholarships to more than 3,000 girls, giving more than one million children the lifelong gift of education.

If you have ever pondered abandoning your desk job for an adventure and an opportunity to give back, Wood’s story will inspire you.

He offers a vivid, emotional, and absorbing tale of how to take the lessons learned at a hard-charging company like Microsoft and apply them to the world’s most pressing social problems.

   Buy on Amazon

Collective Wisdom

Lessons, Inspiration, and Advice from Women over 50 – by Grace Bonney

Collective Wisdom: Lessons, Inspiration, and Advice from Women over 50 - by Grace Bonney

In this rich and multilayered collection of interviews, conversations, and intimate photographs, over 100 trailblazing women describe the ups, downs, and lessons learned while forging their unique paths.

Collective Wisdom celebrates the stories of those who have been there and know the road—from an Olympic athlete and a NASA team member to award-winning artists, activists, writers, and filmmakers, from women in their fifties to centenarians.

It is also a tribute to the importance of intergenerational connections between women, with interviews conducted by daughters, friends, mentors, and colleagues. Collective Wisdom creates a living, breathing sense of community—a space where all of us can gather, listen, share, and learn.

   Buy on Amazon

The Purpose Economy

How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World – By : Aaron Hurst

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World - By : Aaron Hurst

In his latest book, Aaron Hurst, the CEO of Imperative, explores a series of transformative shifts occurring in the economy.

Millennials are breaking away from traditional career trajectories, opting to launch tech start-ups, establish small businesses rooted in local communities, or freelance their expertise.

The sharing economy has become a prominent feature of our lives, encompassing everything from shared bikes and cars to renting out spare rooms in our homes.

Moreover, the trend of creating, buying, and selling handcrafted products within local communities has gained significant momentum.

Hurst argues that while these developments may initially seem disparate, they collectively unveil a powerful underlying pattern, one that heralds purpose as the new driving force behind the American economy.

Drawing parallels to the Information Economy, which has fueled innovation and economic growth in the past, Hurst posits that our current economic landscape thrives on connecting individuals with their sense of purpose.

This emerging economy places value on establishing purpose for both employees and customers, achieved through the fulfillment of needs beyond self-interest, personal growth, and the cultivation of community.

Grounded in extensive interviews with thousands of entrepreneurs, Hurst illustrates how this new era is already generating demand for a wide range of products and services, reshaping the way Millennials perceive their careers.

A new breed of startups, including the likes of Etsy, Zaarly, Tough Mudder, Kickstarter, and Airbnb, is pioneering innovative approaches to creating value by fostering connections within local communities.

Concurrently, established companies such as Tesla and Whole Foods are transitioning from targeting affluent consumers to becoming mainstream brands. Hurst dubs these companies, together with their visionary founders, as the tastemakers of the Purpose Economy.

This book offers a dual perspective, serving as a personal memoir recounting Aaron Hurst’s own journey as a purpose-driven entrepreneur.

In 2001, he departed from a lucrative tech position to launch Taproot, a venture that paved the way for millions of professionals and Fortune 500 companies to engage in volunteer work for nonprofits.

Additionally, it functions as a blueprint for a new economic era that is reshaping companies, markets, and career paths to better align with the needs of people and the world at large.

   Shop on Amazon

Building Social Business

The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs – By: Muhammad Yunus

Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs - By: Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus, the innovative thinker who pioneered microcredit and was honored with the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Grameen Bank, has introduced a groundbreaking concept within capitalism known as “social business.”

By channeling the profit-driven energies of businesses toward the goal of meeting essential human needs, social business emerges as a self-sustaining and viable commercial venture.

These enterprises not only stimulate economic growth but also contribute to the betterment of the world by producing goods and services with a positive impact.

Within the pages of this book, Yunus vividly illustrates how the theory of social business has evolved into a compelling practice, embraced by prominent corporations, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, and committed social activists across continents, including Asia, South America, Europe, and the United States.

Through real-world examples, Yunus showcases the transformative power of social business in improving lives.

He offers pragmatic guidance to those aspiring to create their own social businesses, elucidates the adjustments required in public and corporate policies to accommodate this innovative model, and articulates why social business holds the potential to address the shortcomings of traditional free-market enterprise.

   Shop on Amazon


How to Go Big, Make Bank, and Better the World – By: Peter H. Diamandis

Bold: How to Go Big, Make Bank, and Better the World - By: Peter H. Diamandis

Bold is a guidebook for entrepreneurs seeking exponential growth and world-changing impact. It explores the disruptive technologies enabling startups to rapidly scale and disrupt established industries.

Drawing on insights from billionaire innovators, the book offers best practices for launching crowdfunding campaigns, designing incentive competitions, and engaging communities to help bring bold ideas to life.

Bold is both a manifesto and manual, analyzing the power of 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, networks, and synthetic biology.

It teaches readers how to leverage hyper-connected crowds and moonshot thinking to create extraordinary wealth while positively benefiting billions worldwide.

Bold is the exponential entrepreneur’s playbook for utilizing emerging technologies, thinking at scale, and crowdsourcing tools to turn audacious visions into reality faster than ever before.

   Buy on Amazon

Lean Impact

How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good by Ann Mei Chang

Lean Impact is a hands-on guide designed to exponentially increase the impact of our time and money.

Building on the modern innovation practices that have fueled the technological breakthroughs that have touched every aspect of our lives, Lean Impact puts the focus on a new purpose–radically great social good.

Of course, making the world a better place is far more complicated than building an app. It involves more listening, more care, and more stakeholders to ensure solutions are fully embraced, address root causes, and include an engine that will drive growth.

Lean Impact offers practical tools and strategies that are inspired by the customer-centered, fast iteration, and data-driven approaches popularized by The New York Times bestseller, The Lean Startup.

   Buy on Amazon


By: Jason Fried

Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition.

The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.

What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way. You’ll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you.

With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own.

Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of “downsizing,” and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages.

   Buy on Amazon

The Growing Season

How I Built a New Life–and Saved an American Farm by Sarah Frey

Sarah Frey sells more pumpkins than any other producer in the United States. Her family business, Frey Farms, plants thousands of acres of fruits and vegetables in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia.

With a mission to end food waste in the fresh produce industry, the family makes natural food products and beverages from imperfect or “ugly fruit.”

Inspired by her humble beginnings and early life on the farm, she continues to create opportunities for those living and working in rural communities. Frey lives in Southern Illinois and is raising her two sons, William and Luke, on the same family farm where she grew up.

   Buy on Amazon

One Thousand Wells

How an Audacious Goal Taught Me to Love the World Instead of Save ItBy: Jena Lee Nardella

Jena Nardella, cofounder of Blood:Water and one of Christianity Today’s 33 Under 33, shares a “captivatingly honest” (Publishers Weekly) account of how her passion for saving the world grew into a humbler, long-term calling of loving the world in all its brokenness in this beautifully written memoir.

Ten years ago, Jena Lee Nardella was a fresh-out-of-college, twenty-something with the lofty goal of truly changing the world.

Armed with a diploma, a thousand dollars, and a dream to build one thousand wells in Africa, she joined forces with Grammy Award–winning band Jars of Clay to found Blood:Water and begin her mission.

Jena’s dream for her nonprofit turned that initial $1 into $20, and then $100, and today into more than $25 million.

Working throughout eleven countries in Africa, Blood:Water has provided healthcare for over 62,000 people in HIV-affected areas and has partnered with communities to provide clean water for more than one million people in Africa.

But along the way she faced many harsh realities that have tested her faith, encountered corruption and brokenness that nearly destroyed everything she’d fought for, and learned that wishful thinking will not get you very far.

Jena discovered true change comes only when you stop trying to save the world and allow yourself to love it, even when it breaks your heart.

   Buy on Amazon

How to Change the World

By: David Bornstein

Now published in more than twenty countries, David Bornstein’s How to Change the World has become the bible for social entrepreneurship–in which men and women around the world are finding innovative solutions to a wide variety of social and economic problems.

Whether delivering solar energy to Brazilian villagers, expanding work opportunities for disabled people across India, creating a network of home-care agencies to serve poor people with AIDS in South Africa, or bridging the college-access gap in the United States, social entrepreneurs are pioneering problem-solving models that will reshape the 21st century.

How to Change the World provides vivid profiles of many such individuals and what they have in common. The book is an In Search of Excellence for social initiatives, intertwining personal stories, anecdotes, and analysis. Readers will discover how one person can make an astonishing difference in the world.

   Buy on Amazon

Start Something That Matters

By: Blake Mycoskie

The incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good. People often ask me what I consider my goal to be at TOMS. The truth is that it’s changed over the years.

When we first began, the goal was to create a for-profit company to help the children that I met in a small village in Argentina. And that objective to give new shoes to children in need continues to be a powerful driver for me and everyone else at TOMS.

But recently my personal mission has changed. Today, I would say that my goal is to influence other people to go out into the world and have a positive impact, to inspire others to start something that matters, whether it’s a for-profit business or a nonprofit organization.

I feel a deep sense of responsibility to share everything that we’ve learned from TOMS, so that others can learn from both our mistakes and the counter intuitive principles that have guided our success.

   Shop on Amazon

Lean Startups for Social Change

The Revolutionary Path to Big Impact By: Michel Gelobter

For years, the lean startup has been revolutionizing both new and established businesses. In this eye-opening book, serial social entrepreneur Michel Gelobter shows how it can do the same for nonprofits.

Traditionally, whether creating a new business or a new program, entrepreneurs in all sectors develop a plan, find money to fund it, and pursue it to its conclusion.

The problem is, over time conditions can change drastically—but you’re locked into your plan. The lean startup is all about agility and flexibility.

Its mantra is “build, measure, learn”: create small experimental initiatives, quickly get real-world feedback on them, and use that data to expand what works and discard what doesn’t.

   Buy on Amazon

Be the Solution

How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the Worlds Problems By: Micheal Strong

What if the distinction between business and doing good vanished? What if all those who engaged in business were committed to a deeper purpose, and all those committed to doing good were entrepreneurial and enterprising?

What would it take for a world of seven billion such people to solve all the world’s problems?

More and more people are looking for meaning and purpose in their lives as employees, as consumers, and as investors.

More and more people have more than enough material goods and are more interested in the qualities of the goods they buy; in the experiences associated with the services they provide and buy; in the way the companies they buy from act as citizens; and in self-actualization—rising up Maslow’s hierarchy.

As an increasing percentage of the population reaches the point at which they no longer need more stuff, what will they do, how will they live their lives?

   Buy on Amazon

How To Be Great At Doing Good

Why Results Are What Count and How Smart Charity Can Change the World By: Nick Cooney

Many of us donate to charitable causes, and millions more work or volunteer for non-profit organizations. Yet virtually none of us have been taught what it means to succeed at doing good, let alone how to do so. In short, we’ve never been encouraged to treat charity with the seriousness and rigor it deserves.

How to be Great at Doing Good is a complacency-shattering guidebook for anyone who wants to actually change the world, whether as a donor, a volunteer, or a non-profit staffer.

Drawing on eye-opening studies in psychology and human behavior, surprising interviews with philanthropy professionals, and the author’s fifteen years of experience founding and managing top-rated non-profits, this book is an essential read for anyone who wants to do more good with their time and money.

   Buy on Amazon

Making Good

Finding Meaning, Money, and Community in a Changing World By: Billy Parish

As we emerge from the recession, a generation is searching for practical answers about how to succeed and make positive change in the world. With real-life success stories and practical advice and exercises, Making Good outlines how to find opportunities to effect change and make money.

These opportunities are not just for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies.

Making Good shows step-by-step how any person can achieve financial autonomy, capitalize on global changes to infrastructure, and learn from everyday success stories—providing the skills and insights this generation needs to succeed and build careers and lives of consequence.

Charismatic, young, and passionate, Billy Parish and Dev Aujla have been recognized in media outlets like Vanity Fair, Salon, and Rolling Stone as the voices of their generation.

They are at the vanguard of figuring out how the next generation will rethink, reimagine, and rebuild the world around us. Making Good culls the knowledge that has allowed Billy and Dev to build thriving, meaningful careers into a book that will be What Color Is Your Parachute?

   Buy on Amazon

The Promise of a Pencil

How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change By: Adam Braun

Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, “A pencil.”

This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving a prestigious job to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 250 schools around the world.

The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun’s journey to find his calling, as each chapter explains one clear step that every person can take to turn their biggest ambitions into reality.

If you feel restless and ready for transition, if you are seeking direction and purpose, this critically acclaimed bestseller is for you. Driven by inspiring stories and shareable insights, this is the book that will give you the tools to make your own life a story worth telling.

   Buy on Amazon

Creating Room to Read

A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy By: John Wood

The inspirational story of a former Microsoft executive’s quest to build libraries around the world and share the love of books.What’s happened since John Wood left Microsoft to change the world? Just ask six million kids in the poorest regions of Asia and Africa.

In 1999, at the age of thirty-five, Wood quit a lucrative career to found the nonprofit Room to Read.

Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as ‘the Andrew Carnegie of the developing world,’ he strived to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the nonprofit sector-and succeeded spectacularly.

In his acclaimed first book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, Wood explained his vision and the story of his start-up.

Now, he tackles the organization’s next steps and its latest challenges-from managing expansion to raising money in a collapsing economy to publishing books for children who literally have no books in their native language.

   Buy on Amazon

The Solution Revolution

How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society’s Toughest Problems By: William D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan

World hunger. Climate change. Crumbling infrastructure. It’s clear that in today’s era of fiscal constraints and political gridlock, we can no longer turn to government alone to tackle these and other towering social problems. What’s required is a new, more collaborative and productive economic system.

The Solution Revolution brings hope—revealing just such a burgeoning new economy where players from across the spectrum of business, government, philanthropy, and social enterprise converge to solve big problems and create public value.

By erasing public-private sector boundaries, the solution economy is unlocking trillions of dollars in social benefit and commercial value.

Where tough societal problems persist, new problem solvers are crowdfunding, ridesharing, app-developing, or impact-investing to design innovative new solutions for seemingly intractable problems.

Providing low-cost health care, fighting poverty, creating renewable energy, and preventing obesity are just a few of the tough challenges that also represent tremendous opportunities for those at the vanguard of this movement.

They create markets for social good and trade solutions instead of dollars to fill the gap between what government can provide and what citizens need.

   Buy on Amazon

Be You. Do Good

Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come Alive By: Jonathan David Golden & Bob Goff

Almost anyone you ask would say that they want to do work that matters. Yet many people do not feel like they are actively making a difference in the world. Others may feel a sense of calling but lack either the courage or the supportive community to carry it out.

But if God created each of us on purpose, for a purpose, we should be ordering our lives around that purpose.

Jonathan D. Golden, founder of Land of a Thousand Hills coffee company, has discovered and is living out his unique calling to promote social, spiritual, and economic justice while providing a living wage to 2,500 farmers in Rwanda.

Now he reveals to readers how to identify their calling, dispels the myths and misunderstandings we often have about what constitutes a calling, and challenges them to pursue that calling with a courage that can surmount the many obstacles that may lie in their path.

He also shows readers how to cultivate a community of support that will help them fulfill a calling.

   Buy on Amazon

Social Startup Success

How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference by: Kathleen Kelly Janus

Kathleen Kelly Janus, a lecturer at the Stanford University Program on Social Entrepreneurship and the founder of the successful social enterprise Spark, set out to investigate what makes a startup succeed or fail.

She surveyed more than 200 high-performing social entrepreneurs and interviewed dozens of founders. Social Startup Success shares her findings for the legions of entrepreneurs working for social good, revealing how the best organizations get over the revenue hump.

How do social ventures scale to over $2 million, Janus’ clear benchmark for a social enterprise’s sustainability?

Janus, tapping in to strong connections to the Silicon Valley world where many of these ventures are started or and/or funded, reveals insights from key figures such as DonorsChoose founder Charles Best, charity:water’s Scott Harrison, Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code, and many others.

Social Startup Success will be social entrepreneurship’s essential playbook – the first definitive guide to solving the problem of scale.

   Buy on Amazon

We hope you’ve found this list of social entrepreneur books to be inspiring. Reading about the work and successes of others can help motivate us to do more good in the world. What book on this list are you most looking forward to reading?

Read next

environment ·

13 Best Shirts for a Cause

In an era where conscious consumerism is more than just a trend, it’s a lifestyle, shirts for a cause has become top of mind and a model for sustainable and impact fashion. This innovative approach to apparel not only dresses individuals in high-quality, stylish shirts but also serves a higher purpo