Project Impact is part of a new and growing movement called "social entrepreneurship," which aims to create nonprofit businesses to provide economic empowerment and expanded opportunity for disadvantaged individuals. The rise of social entrepreneurship within the nonprofit sector embraces the blending of business skill and perspective with community and social values. In many cases, social entrepreneurship is in response to a failure of conventional business practices and societal values in dealing with serious social problems. Project Impact's mission is to use the methods of social entrepreneurship to respond to the unmet health care needs of poor people in developing countries through sustainable, cost-effective programs that provide high-quality medical, surgical, and rehabilitative services and products.
Mission-related impact, not wealth creation, is the central measure by which social entrepreneurs evaluate success. This is the core of what distinguishes social entrepreneurs from business entrepreneurs. For a social entrepreneur, the social mission is fundamental and cannot be reduced to creating private benefits for shareholders. Making a profit, creating wealth, or serving the desires of customers may be part of the model, but these are means to a social end, not the end in itself. As social entrepreneurs, we at Project Impact seek to identify the areas in which the health care systems and methods are not working well or are non-existent and then to assist our partners to develop solutions that are affordable and appropriate to the developing country context.