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am 10. September 2011
This book by Rupert Scofield details the steps that the aspiring social entrepreneur should expect to take, if they are to improve the likelihood of realising their ambitions in the world of the non-profit. This includes the initial poverty experience phase, in order to develop empathy towards the clients and the mission, and proceeds onward through the stage of apprenticeship and a possible career path within an established non-profit, or the choice of breaking out and establishing a non-profit of one's own.

The structure of the book is helpful with its breakdown into main sections, principles and anecdotal examples. the quality of writing is consistent in style, and is peppered with amusing similes that demonstrate Rupert Scofield's creative writing prowess, which are often and obviously superior to those who use such literary devices in literary fiction. For example: When criticising a piece of troublesome financial management software: 'buggier than nightfall over a Bangaladeshi rice paddy' :-)

In addition, Rupert Scofield covers the subject, warts and all, with regard to the highlights and lowlights, the highlifes and lowlifes that are likely to be encountered. Sometimes, and alarmingly too often, to the extent of being a serious risk to life and limb.

A point touched upon, and which will continue to be a serious challenge, in spite of the Arab Spring, for example, is the predicament faced by developing nations over how it is possible for there to be a safe enough and stable enough environment within which those who have been lifted out of dire poverty, can remain in the country, so as not to lose the benefit of their new found prosperity and ambitions to more stable locales abroad, that really do not need their presence, and which contributes too much to an endless cycle of poverty, that may, at best, remain just above dire.

Finally, with its focus on organisation and management systems, as the means to improve the likelihood of a successful non-profit, there is useful information to be had for those who would be entrepreneurs in the manjana, manjana economises of southern Europe, who need to more gently progress from ground zero, to the rigours of the for-profit enterprises that their countries, such as Greece, Portugal and Spain, so badly need.

I would also recommend The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators by Jeff Dyer, to complement this title, so that the development of the social entrepreneur's innovation skills, are more rapidly and successfully developed.

Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
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