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"The men and women featured in this book have abandoned the traditional nonprofit mentality that recoils from any hint of monetary gain. They've built for-profit and nonprofit businesses that make a profit - and they've funneled those dollars back into their mission. What they represent is something almost unheard of 20 years ago."

(From the introduction by Jerr Boschee)

After years of hovering around the edges of the nonprofit sector, social entrepreneurship today has moved into the mainstream. Venture philanthropists, traditional grantmakers, Boards of Directors, nonprofit entrepreneurs, consultants, academics and others are all rushing to the table . . . many of them without the tools they need.

They can find those tools by turning to the experiences of the pioneers in the field -- and 14 of those trailblazers are profiled in The Social Enterprise Sourcebook. Written by Jerr Boschee, who has spent the past 20 years as an advisor to social entrepreneurs in the United States and abroad, the Sourcebook contains in-depth interviews with nonprofit executives who have successfully started business ventures (including candid descriptions of their failures along the way).

Published by the Northland Institute and released in conjunction with The Third National Gathering for Social Entrepreneurs in December 2001, the Sourcebook can now be downloaded in whole or in part at no charge (The Social Enterprise Sourcebook). Copies of the book can also be ordered either from the Institute or from

According to Katie Burnham, President of The Society for Nonprofit Organizations, the Sourcebook "is the first comprehensive profile of social purpose businesses that is not only entertaining to read but also provides a road map of critical success factors that all aspiring social entrepreneurs should heed. This is a must read for anyone interested in this emerging nonprofit management strategy." Sourcebook description for Northland home page: Page two of two

Peter B. Goldberg, President and CEO of The Alliance for Children and Families, calls the book "an important addition to the available literature," and Prof. James E. Austin, chair of the Harvard Business School Initiative on Social Enterprise, labels it "a unique collection of highly useful practitioner experiences, insights and wisdom."

Among others, the men and women profiled in the book include:

  • Jim Westall, who's taking young men off welfare in Port Townsend, Washington, and helping them earn more than $70,000 per year
  • Rich Gilmartin, who converted a sheltered workshop in Pensacola, Florida, into a $30 million business
  • Barbara Massey of Atlanta, who escaped from a franchising nightmare and formed a successful partnership with a for-profit company
  • Bernard Tetsugen Glassman, a Zen Buddhist priest from Yonkers who married spirituality with social action and forged a partnership with a major corporation
  • Kevin McDonald, a former gutter hype and addict who built an interstate trucking company in North Carolina by employing ex-cons and recovering drug addicts
  • Rick Walker of Marshfield, Massachusetts, who turned his stakeholders into risk-takers and created seven small businesses, with more to come
  • Kathleen Buescher of St. Louis, who rescued one business by starting another
  • Tony Wagner of Minneapolis, who survived the failure of two businesses - but succeeded with a third

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